Makes 8 doughnuts | Prep Time 10min| Total Time 3hrs 35min

Ingredient list

  • 320g all-purpose flour
  • 170g fine semolina
  • 3 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp fast action yeast
  • 330ml warm water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • Honey or icing sugar
  • 1 ltr rapeseed oil (for frying)


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 330ml warm water with the semolina, and set aside to proof for 25 minutes
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour with the salt, baking powder, yeast mixture and vanilla extract and stir vigorously, either by hand or using a mixer with a dough hook, until smooth. The dough should be sticky enough to knead or shape, almost like a thick batter
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean towel or clingfilm and leave the dough to rise for 3-4 hours. The dough should double or triple in bulk in this time
  4. In a wide, deep pot, heat 2 – 3 inches of rapeseed oil over medium heat until hot
  5. Set out a bowl of water, dip your hands in the water, then pull off a piece of dough approximately the size of a small plum. Use your fingers to make a hole in the ball of dough, stretch the hole wide to make ring, and place the dough into the hot oil (be very careful!)
  6. Repeat with the rest of the dough, until you’ve added as many Sfenj as will fit comfortably in your pot. Make sure you don’t overcrowd, you may need to add the Sfenj to the pot in batches. Use the water to wet your hands as necessary, to keep the dough from sticking as you work with it
  7. Fry the Sfenj until golden brown, turning once or twice. Remove the cooked Sfenj to a plate lined with paper towels to drain
  8. Repeat shaping and frying until you’ve used up all dough
  9. If you like, finish the hot Sfenj by dipping in caster sugar or dusting with icing sugar. Our Head Chef’s favourite way of finishing them is with honey
  10. Serve the Sfenj hot or warm as they tend to lose their texture and appeal when cold. Sfenj won’t stay fresh very long at room temperature, so it’s best to reheat in the oven when needed or you can freeze and reheat to make them last a bit longer