Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the Festival of Lights. The story of the miracle tells of how a one night’s supply of lamp oil provided light for eight nights. This took place during the re-dedication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. This Jewish holiday celebrates many traditions like playing the dreidel game and lighting the menorah, and telling stories of the Maccabees. Traditionally, fried foods are served during the holiday, like potato latkes and these bismarks.
These donuts are common in many other places around the world and go by many names. Whether you call them bismarks, paczkis or sufganiyot, these fried, sugar covered, filled yeast donuts, are just divine.
I usually make bismarks at home around the winter holidays. I am always the most popular person in my house when these donuts start piling up on a plate. Depending on who is at home, we fill them with preserves, nut butter or chocolate spread. The kids love to be in charge of shaking the bag to coat the donuts in sugar.
These little bismarks are perfect for any Hanukkah or Christmas celebration. Or any time when you feel like a sweet treat. You don’t need any special tools to fill them because the filling is sandwiched between two thin layers of dough before the donuts are fried.
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Mix warm milk (100-110 degrees), yeast and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar in to a small bowl and mix. Set aside to bloom.
In a large bowl, measure out the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, gluten free flour mix, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Once yeast mixture has become foamy, add yeast mixture to flour mix along with the two egg yolks. Mix just until combined and a dough forms.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and pat flat.
Smear butter onto dough. Fold dough in half and gently press flat, sprinkling lightly with gluten free flour then folding and pressing until butter is completely incorporated.
Roll dough out to an even 1/8" thickness.
To prevent sticking, dip a juice glass or 2" cutter into gf flour before cutting dough into rounds. Roll any leftover dough out and cut until all dough is used.
Place 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of filling into the center of every other round.
Top filled rounds with plain rounds and firmly pinch edges together to seal.
Cover finished donuts with a clean towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Set up the area where you are going to fry the donuts.
You will need a heavy bottomed skillet, a cooling rack with a plain brown paper bag or paper towels on it, to drain donuts. I prefer using a plain brown paper bag.
Measure out oil into the heavy bottom skillet and heat on medium until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. Test temperature with a candy thermometer.
Once oil reaches temperature, using tongs and being careful not to squish the donuts, gently set one donut at a time into the oil. Do not crowd the pan - fry only a few donuts at a time. I fry 4-5 at a time.
Fry on one side until golden brown, 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. With tongs or wooden spoon, gently flip donuts over to fry other side.
With tongs, remove fry pan and place on plain paper bag or paper towels to drain for a minute.
Coat with granulated sugar or dust with powdered sugar. Coating the donuts is easier if you place the sugar in a paper bag. Carefully place a couple of donuts in at a time and gently shake to coat the donuts.
Repeat with the remaining donuts.
These donuts are best eaten fresh. If you do have leftovers, refrigerate and then heat before eating.
You will need a candy thermometer to safely check the heat of the oil before frying.
Use caution when making these donuts, as the oil is very hot. I make sure that there are no little ones in the kitchen when I am frying and always push the skillet to the back of my stove to cool when I have finished frying.
This Bismarks recipe is gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian.