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Moroccan Doughnuts (Sfenj)

Please note that this recipe requires about 1 1/2 hours or inactive time not listed in the prep time.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Moroccan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 123kcal
Author International Cuisine


  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 3 cups flour sifted
  • 1 cup warm water
  • oil for frying


  • Make yeast starter by dissolving 2 TBS. sugar and 1/2 teaspoons salt in 4 TBS. warm water in a small bowl. Stir in 1 TBS. dried active yeast. Let sit and get bubbly for about 15 minutes.
  • Pour the flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle. Pour the yeast mixture into the well and begin to mix with your hand. Add a little warm water from time to time as you mix, until it is the consistency of a stiff dough.
  • Continue Kneading dough for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Little by little, add remainder of water, sprinkling 2 TBS. at a time into the bowl.
  • Knead the dough in the bowl until water is dissolved, continuing until the dough is spongy, and very sticky.
  • Oil a separate mixing bowl lightly.
  • Put the dough into the oiled bowl and turn it over so it is covered with a light coating of oil.
  • Then cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and allow to rise 1 -1 1/2 hours.
  • When dough is risen, punch it down.
  • Heat frying oil in a pan or deep fryer. (A wok works well for this as well)
  • When oil is hot, oil the fingers of both hands. Take a piece of dough approximately the size of a small ball and make a hole in the center using your fingers and twirl the dough to enlarge hole to size of a ping pong ball.
  • Plunge ring of dough into hot oil. The dough will puff up.
  • Turn the rings once or twice until golden on both sides.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain dry on kitchen paper.
  • Serve hot. May dip in honey or jam if desired or dunk in your coffee or tea.


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1.5mg