How to Fry Donuts and Potato Pancakes
The Food Network Kitchen shares tips and techniques for frying Hanukkah sufganiyots and latkes.
- Most experts suggest frying in neutral-tasting vegetable oil for the best results. If you do a lot of deep-frying, invest in a deep-frying thermometer (or a candy thermometer) to gauge the heat of your oil. For doughnuts of all sorts, a temperature between 360 and 375 degrees F will give you the best results.
- You're best off frying with fresh oil. Used oil has a far lower smoke point and, more importantly, a dangerously low flash point, or temperature at which it bursts into flames.
- A food processor fitted with a (medium) shredding disc takes the labor out of potato latkes and saves you from scraped knuckles. Once grated, place the potatoes in a strainer or a clean towel and squeeze out excess liquid.
- Fry sufganiyot or latkes in small batches to avoid lowering the oil temperature as much as possible. Otherwise, everything will end up soggy.
- For frying, nothing beats a cast iron pan. It maintains a constant temperature and its weight anchors it to the burner, reducing the risk of accidents.
- A good starchy potato such as the russet yields a crispier latke, but an all-purpose potato like Yukon gold will do just fine.
- Though latkes are always best hot out of the pan — with dollops of applesauce and sour cream on top — they can be made ahead of time, frozen, and reheated. You're best off freezing latkes on a cookie sheet before packing them into a freezer bag. Reheat in a 450 degree F oven and serve.
- The latke allows much room for improvisation. Grated zucchini, carrot, or apples are all welcome additions.