On Hanukkah Jewish cooks in Germany and Holland used the yeasted Kuchen (cake) dough to make fried Hanukkah treats. They would break off small portions of the dough and tie it into a knot and deep-fry before glazing the dough in honey.

For Dough

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1½ tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 125ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk (or milk alternative)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 50g (3 ½ tablespoons) butter (or non-hydrogenated margarine), very soft or melted
  • 335g (2¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of one lemon (juice reserved for glaze)
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For Glaze:

  • 85g (⅔ cup) icing (powdered) sugar
  • 170g (½ cup) Golden syrup (or honey)
  • Juice of one lemon

In a large bowl place the yeast, water, milk and a pinch of sugar and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Add the butter, flour, eggs, lemon zest and sugar to the yeast mixture and use a knife or your hands to mix until a sticky dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Roll out to 1cm thick and use an 8cm-round cutter to cut 10 rounds from the dough. Place the rounds on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and set aside for 30 minutes or until risen.

Place the oil and a sugar thermometer in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat until temperature reaches 180°C (350°F) alternatively use a deep fat fryer. Cook the dough-knots, in batches, for 1–2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.

To make the glaze, combine the icing (powdered) sugar with the golden syrup (or honey) and the lemon juice, until you have a runny, but not liquid consistency. Roll the cooked dough-knots in the glaze, place on a wire rack to dry and allow excess glaze to drip off.

Best served the day they are made.