Doughnuts around the world

For extra-special doughnuts try recipes inspired by different cuisines

Doughnuts (photo credit: AFIK GABAI)
(photo credit: AFIK GABAI)
Doughnuts are everywhere to be found these days – and they are more sophisticated and complex every year.
The regular jelly-filled sugared sufganiot are there, still, but it seems that every baker feels the need to reinvent the doughnut and express their creativity with elaborate fillings, toppings and garnishes.
We asked Arieh Abramovitz, head chef and baker at the Shany bakeries to come up with ideas for doughnuts that are a little bit different.
The first Shany Bakery was founded by Alexander Englander, a young Hungarian baker who made aliya and settled in Haifa.
He was known to all his friends as Shany, and so when he opened a bakery in 1964, he called it after his nickname. Englander brought with him not only his mother’s recipes, but also a great passion for baking and a dream of owning a European-style bakery-café. In his pâtisserie he used to display rich cakes and special desserts, which he served with great coffee, and soon it became a popular establishment.
Today, with 15 branches, the bakeries also serve breakfasts and light dairy meals, as well as over 200 different handmade pastries made according to Englander’s secret recipes.
Abramovitz joined the bakery as a second generation of bakers, and he is now the head chef. He offered to share his original doughnut recipes inspired by five different cuisines – North African sfinge, North American cookie-inspired extra sweet doughnut, Druse doughnut with local dessert ingredients such as kadaif noodles and pistachio, Italian savory doughnut with Parmesan cheese and pesto, and last but definitely not least, an original Hungarian delicatessen, papanash. Happy Hanukka!
Makes 13 60-70 gr. doughnuts
This is the North African take on sweetfried dough, served on Hanukka and other holidays. The following is a family recipe given to Rami Cohen, CEO and co-owner of the Shany bakeries, by his aunt. Sfinge is usually dipped in honey, but here the coating is white chocolate and silan. If you prefer the traditional honey simply heat the honey and dip the sfinge in it.
✔ 500 gr. flour
✔ 25 gr. fresh yeast
✔ Pinch sugar
✔ 330 ml. water
✔ ¹⁄3 Tbsp. salt
✔ Oil for deep frying
For the glazing:
✔ Silan
✔ 200 gr. white chocolate
Prepare dough:
Mix all ingredients, adding the salt last, after all the rest of the ingredients are mixed.
Knead the dough well and leave to rise for 20 minutes in a warm place, covered with a towel. Remove the towel and let rise 20 more minutes.
Knead again getting the air out and leave the dough to rest 30 more minutes. Grease your palms with oil or butter and divide the dough into equal-size balls, 4 cm. in circumference.
Heat the oil to 180°.
Pick a ball, with your hands shape it into a ring and drop in the oil. Fry 2 minutes on each side and transfer to paper towel until cooled.
Doughnuts around the world
Do not fry too many doughnuts at the same time, or the temperature of the oil will be reduced.
While the sfinge doughnuts are cooling, prepare the glazing: In a bowl melt chocolate in the microwave oven using short pulses, mixing in between until all the chocolate is melted. Or use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.
Dip the sfinge on one side in the chocolate and arrange on a tray. Using a fork dipped in silan draw a pattern on the white chocolate.
Makes 20
This take on the American doughnut is enriched with cream and Oreo cookie filling, brownie topping and white chocolate glazing.
For the dough:
✔ 1 kg. white flour
✔ 50 gr. fresh yeast
✔ Vanilla stick
✔ 150 gr. butter
✔ 4 egg yolks
✔ 1 cup lukewarm milk
✔ 100 gr. sugar
✔ ½ Tbsp. salt
✔ Oil for deep frying
Oreo filling:
✔ 1 container cream (250 ml.)
✔ 25 gr. powdered sugar
✔ 3 crumbled Oreo cookies
For the brownie topping:
✔ 250 gr. bitter chocolate
✔ 200 gr. butter
✔ 4 egg yolks
✔ 50 gr. coffee liquor
✔ 250 gr. flour
✔ 200 gr. white chocolate
Make the brownies:
Preheat oven to 150°.
Grease a small baking pan.
Place chocolate and butter in a double boiler and melt until smooth. Remove from heat and add the coffee liquor, mix and cool.
When cooled to warm, add the eggs. Stir well and add the flour. Using a wooden spoon mix until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into a small greased baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
Prepare dough:
In a mixer bowl with kneading arm, place butter, oil, lukewarm milk, seeds from 1 vanilla stick, flour, yeast and eggs. Knead for 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, and add the salt. Mix a little more and leave the dough covered to rise for 15 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and knead more with your hands. Let the dough rise for 15 more minutes. Repeat again – knead the dough and let rise for 15 minutes. Then roll the dough out to 5 cm.thick and using a glass cut out doughnuts.
Heat a deep pot with oil to 150°-160° and fry about 4 minutes on each side.
Prepare topping: melt chocolate in the microwave oven or a double boiler.
Whip the cream with the powdered sugar.
Using a pastry syringe, inject each doughnut with the whipped cream.
Dip the top of each doughnut in the white chocolate and arrange on a tray. Crumble the brownie and place a nice heap on top of each doughnut.
Makes 22
This Mid-East doughnut is filled with tehina and silan and decorated with kadaif noodles and pistachio.
✔ 800 gr. white flour
✔ 200 gr. rye flour
✔ 100 ml. olive oil
✔ 50 gr. fresh yeast
✔ 2 eggs 
✔ 300 ml. goat’s or regular milk
✔ 50 gr. suga
r ✔ ½ Tbsp. salt
✔ Tehina
✔ 100 ml. silan
✔ 100 gr. melted butter
✔ Pistachio paste
✔ Kadaif noodles
✔ Shelled roasted pistachio, crushed
Place oil, eggs, salt, sugar and milk in a mixer bowl. Mix and add the flour. Crumble the yeast on top and mix for 8 minutes.
Leave the dough to rise for 30 minutes. Turn onto a generously-floured work surface and roll out until 1-2 cm. thick.
Using a glass cut rounds and brush them with olive oil. Let the rounds rise about 20 minutes.
Heat oil on a pot and fry the doughnuts 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towel.
Prepare the kadaif: Heat oven to 180°.
Arrange the kadaif noodles in one layer on a baking sheet and drizzle melted butter on the noodles. Make sure all the noodles are greased. You can mix with your hands and then arrange in a layer. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Cool.
Using a pastry syringe, inject each doughnut with the silan-tehina mixture.
Place pistachio paste in a bowl and stir until it is smooth and soft. Glaze each doughnut with about a tsp. of pistachio paste.
Place a small heap of kadaif noodles on each doughnut and top with crushed pistachio.
Makes about 20
This is a savory doughnut, enriched with cream cheese, pesto, Parmesan and pine nuts – you don’t have to wait for dessert to eat this one.
✔ 1 kg. flour
✔ 50 gr. fresh yeast
✔ 4 eggs
✔ 50 gr. sugar
✔ 70 gr. lightly roasted pine nuts
✔ ½ Tbsp. salt
✔ 150 gr. Parmesan cheese, grated
✔ 100 ml. olive oil
✔ 1 cup lukewarm milk
✔ Oil for deep frying
For the filling:
✔ 250 gr. cream cheese (30%)
✔ 2 heaping tsp. basil pesto
For garnish:
✔ Parmesan cheese shavings
✔ Roasted pine nuts
Place salt, sugar, eggs and flour in a mixer bowl with a kneading arm.
Place the yeast on top of the flour so it does not touch the salt. Start kneading, adding the oil gradually. Towards the end of the kneading add the pine nuts.
Cover the dough and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 35°. Using your hands make 50 gr. balls and place them on a greased baking sheet, leaving about 5 cm. between them. Spray or brush the doughnuts with canola oil so they do not dry. Place the baking sheet in the oven and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil to 150° and fry the doughnuts 2 minutes on each side. Transfer from the oil to paper towels.
In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese and the pesto, taste and adjust seasoning.
Fill a pastry syringe with the cream cheese mixture and fill the doughnuts.
Use the same cream cheese mixture to glaze the doughnuts and garnish with pine nuts and Parmesan shavings.
Makes 12 large doughnuts
Called papanash in Hungary and papanasi in Romania, these dumplings can be either boiled or fried. Filled with sour cream and cherry jam, and topped with an almond tuile they are a real treat. The recipe was passed on to Abramovitz from his mother who came from Hungary. The tuile is his modern-day adaption to the traditional recipe.
✔ 1 kg. ricotta cheese
✔ 350 gr. flour
✔ 4 eggs
✔ 100 gr. powdered sugar
✔ 100 gr. semolina (solet)
✔ 30 gr. baking soda
✔ Pinch salt
✔ Zest of 1 lemon
✔ 2 Tbsp. sugar
For the filling:
✔ 400 gr. raspberry or other jam
✔ 300 gr. sour cream
For the almond tuile:
✔ 160 gr. butter
✔ 200 gr. sugar
✔ 200 gr. slivered almonds, chopped
✔ 70 gr. flour
✔ 60 ml. water
Place cheese, eggs, salt and baking soda in a mixer bowl and knead for 3 minutes. Add the flour, semolina and lemon zest. Knead for 8 minutes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and place dough on a lightly floured work surface.
Roll out to until the dough is 5 cm. thick and even.
Using a glass cut rounds and using a small glass cut a small hole in each doughnut, to make smaller doughnuts.
Let the doughnuts “rest” for 5 minutes.
Heat oil in a pot and fry the doughnuts and the small doughnuts 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer to paper towels or place on a rack to let oil drip.
To serve: Smear a Tbsp. of sour cream on each plate, place the large doughnuts on the plate and spread jam on them. Finish by placing the small doughnut in the middle of each one. Garnish with the tuile pieces around the papanash.
To prepare the tuile: Preheat oven to 190°.
In a pot heat together the sugar and butter until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add the water and stir. In another bowl mix together the almonds and flour and add into the sugar mixture. Quickly mix and transfer to a small greased baking pan.
Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Cool, remove from the pan and break into large pieces. ■ Recipes and photos courtesy of Arie Abramovitz, Shany Bakeries, Haifa.
Makes 20-25
Doughnuts are eaten in the Nordic countries around Christmastime.
The doughnut is injected with raspberry jam before frying – adding deeper flavor. The topping is simple – sugar. Ava Hanssen, the chief baker of Lehem Yayin Bakery, came here from Denmark in 1993. He studied baking in Copenhagen and specializes in European-style breads.
Alongside him works Yasmin Nimrodi, who moved with her parents to Denmark as a child and came back here after studying baking there. The two gave us their recipe for traditional Scandinavian doughnuts that is more interesting than it looks.
✔ 6½ cups flour
✔ ½ cup sugar
✔ ½ Tbsp. salt
✔ 30 gr. dry yeast
✔ ¼ cup amaretto almond liquor
✔ 1 egg
✔ 1½ cups water
✔ ½ cup oil
✔ Good quality raspberry or strawberry jam
In a mixer bowl knead all ingredients together until smooth. Leave dough to rise until double in size (about 30 minutes).
Cut balls out of the dough. Try to make 20 gr. balls. Place the balls on a greased baking sheet.
Using a pastry syringe, inject each dough ball with jam. The Scandinavians prefer reduced-sugar raspberry jam because it is tart. But strawberry jam works just as well. Make sure the ball is closed on all sides after injecting it with jam.
Place the doughnuts in a 30° oven to rise until double in size.
Meanwhile heat the frying oil to 150°.
Gently drop the doughnuts in the hot oil and fry until golden on all sides.
Transfer to a deep plate with sugar, roll until covered on all sides, and place on a serving dish.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Lehem Yayin Bakery.