For as long as I can remember, I’ve been chowing down on jelly, caramel and chocolate filled fried doughnuts (also called sufganiyot) at all of my Chanukah festivities. Last year, I decided to try something new by baking my doughnuts and it was a great success! So how to change things up this year? I decided that I didn’t want to make a traditional doughnut at all. This year, I would go in a completely different direction. What looks like sufganiyot, gets filled like sufganiyot, but isn’t sufganiyot??? A steamed bun, of course. The yeasty dough rises for a few hours and is filled prior to steaming with any thick filling you can think of; pulled brisket, ground turkey, red bean paste, almond cream and more! Since I want to serve these steamed buns at my next Chanukah party, I’ve decided to make a sticky and sweet date and raisin filling. I can’t wait to see how my guests react to my adaptation on sufganiyot. I think they will be pleasantly surprised by the light and fluffy texture of the dough and the richness of the filling.
Sweet Steamed Bun
makes 12-14 buns
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Date & Raisin Filling
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Optional: vanilla glaze dip, 1/4 cup powdered sugar whisked with 2 Tbsp vanilla soy milk (or milk + 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
Since the dough needs time to rise, I began with the steamed bun dough. In a measuring cup, I dissolved the sugar in the warm water then added the yeast. I left the yeast mixture to stand 10 minutes. When it was ready, there was a layer of foam on the top of the water that looked like coffee foam.
In a large bowl, I combined the flour, shortening, salt and baking powder. I poured the yeast mixture in to the dry mixture and kneaded by hand until smooth, around 5 minutes.
I covered the bowl with a towel and set the dough aside in a warm place to rise for 2 hours. In the meantime, I made the Date & Raisin Filling. I combined all of the ingredients in a small pan and brought to a simmer over medium-low heat. I cooked the mixture for 30 minutes, until thick, stirring occasionally so the bottom wouldn’t burn. I pureed the mixture with a hand blender until smooth. You can also put your date mixture in a food processor to blend. I set the filling aside to cool.
Before working on the buns, I sliced 14 small squares of wax paper to steam the buns in the bamboo steamer. When the dough had doubled in size, I rolled it out in to a log on a non-stick baking mat (you can also use a cutting board or your counter) and sliced it into 14 pieces.
Next came the best part: stuffing the buns! This dough is very pliable so it makes stuffing the buns very easy. I flattened each piece with my hand to make a round disc. I placed around 2 tablespoons of date filling into the center of the dough. I pinched the edges together all around the circle and twisted the pleats together at the top. There is no wrong way to do this since the you will be turning the buns over before steaming.
I placed each finished bun on a square of wax paper pleat-side down and placed them in the steamer basket with at least 2 inches between each one.
I poured around 3-4 inches of water into the wok, brought it to .a boil then placed the steamer right on top. If you don’t have a wok, just find a pot that fits your steamer perfectly so the steam can’t escape
I steamed the buns for 10 minutes then took the steamer off of the wok and opened up the top to reveal the perfectly steam buns! You’ll notice that they expanded and that’s why you need to leave a few inches between each bun.
Enjoy these beautiful sweet clouds hot or room temperature! I am absolutely obsessed with this sweet (but not too sweet) date and raisin filling with the soft and doughy bun. Your guests will be so surprised when they taste these sweet steamed buns instead of a oily fried doughnut. I can’t wait to try these buns with all different types of fillings…especially shredded meat! The options are endless!
Once cooled, you can seal these buns in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, either steam or warm in the microwave for 15-30 seconds.
Yields 12-14 buns
Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:
Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes
Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin
Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Yosef from This American Bite made Latkes & Brisket on Rye
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes
Donuts and Desserts:
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi’s Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
The Gluten Free maven made Gluten Free Vegan Cake Donuts
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies
Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who’s Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita’s Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables