Sfenj are Moroccan doughnuts made by deep frying a sticky, unsweetened yeast dough. They can be purchased from street vendors, who use skewers to remove the freshly made sjenj from the oil. Sfenj should be eaten warm, either plain or dusted with sugar, for breakfast or tea time.
The dough for sfenj should be quite sticky. Allow 3 to 4 hours rising time.
Yields 8 to 10 three-inch sfenj.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- vegetable oil, for frying
- sugar, for garnish (optional)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside.
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and yeast mixture, and stir vigorously with your hand or a spoon until smooth. The dough should be too sticky to knead or shape, almost like a batter.
Cover the bowl, and leave the dough to rise for three to four hours, until double or triple in bulk.
In a wide pot, heat an inch or more of vegetable oil until hot. Dip your hands in water, and pull off a piece of dough about the size of a small plum. Use your fingers to make a hole in the ball of dough, stretch the hole wide to make a ring, and place the dough in the hot oil.
Repeat with the remaining dough, wetting your hands as necessary to keep the dough from sticking as you work with it.
Fry the sfenj until golden brown, turning once or twice. Remove the cooked sfenj to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Serve the sfenj hot. If desired, dip the sfenj in sugar to sweeten them.