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This Moroccan-style donut (sfenj) is flavored with orange zest and topped with honey plus ground pistachios—YUM! The recipe comes from 5-time James Beard Foundation award-winner and host of new Vimeo digital series "Bringing Israel Home," Chef Michael Solomonov.
"After being in this house for months on end, I'm missing traveling, both abroad and to Philly, where Michael has some of my favorite restaurants — including Zahav! Eating his food is like taking a trip." –Rachael
For more from Chef Michael, check out these delicious recipes:
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in a medium-sized bowl with the 4 tablespoons warm water. Let the yeast starter stand for about 15 minutes until frothy and the yeast starter doubles in size.
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the orange zest and salt. Make a small well in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast starter into the well. Incorporate the yeast mixture by making a swirling motion with your fingers in the middle of the well, while slowly streaming in the remaining ¾ cup warm water. Knead the mixture inside of the bowl using the palms of your hands for about 15 minutes until dough is very smooth. Cover with a clean towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
When the dough has almost finished rising, fill a large pot with the canola oil and heat until it reaches 350˚F on a deep-fry thermometer. With wet hands, lightly punch down the dough to deflate. Pull off a piece of donut batter that is approximately the size of a small egg. Use your thumb to make a hole in the center of the piece of batter. Open the hole with your fingers to form a donut that is approximately 6-inches in diameter. Drop the donut away from you into the pot. Be careful not to crowd the pot (3 donuts at a time is about right) and fry the donuts for 2 minutes on one side, then flip and finish cooking on the other side for 1½ minutes.
Remove the donuts to a cooling rack lined with paper towels to drain. Cool for about 4 minutes and then drizzle each donut with honey and sprinkle with pistachios. Serve immediately, preferably with hot mint tea.