Sfenj (Orange Doughnuts)
December, 2002

Makes about 20 / These doughnuts, fragrant with orange, are eaten in Morocco to celebrate Hanukkah. Pack some in a basket to take into the street and hand out to passers-by, fulfilling the feast-day duty of almsgiving, observed by most religions.

4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
3 medium eggs, lightly whisked
1/2 cup orange juice
Grated zest of 1 orange
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Vegetable oil for frying
Powdered sugar
Finely grated orange zest

1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
2. Toss flour and salt with yeast and sugar. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in eggs, orange juice, zest, and oil. Knead until the dough is soft and pliable but no longer sticky (you may need a little more flour or water). Work into a ball.
3. Rub dough surface lightly with oil and drop back into bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, at least 1 hour (rich dough takes longer than regular dough).
4. Punch down dough with your fist. Form dough into a rope. Cut into 20 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Transfer to a floured tray and set in a warm place to rise for another hour, until again doubled in bulk.
5. Heat just enough frying oil to submerge doughnuts. As soon as oil is very hot, slip in a few balls of dough at a time. Fry, flipping once, until golden brown and well-risen. Remove and drain on paper towels. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar and grated orange zest.

Calories 160,Fat 6,Perfat 33,Cholesterol 32,Carbo 23,Protein 3