Short of making your own jelly doughnuts for Hanukkah, the next best thing is probably buying them from the Kosher Pastry Oven in the Kemp Mill neighborhood of Silver Spring. Just be forewarned: You won’t be the only one with this idea.
Every year, the store sells thousands of jelly-filled doughnuts, called soufganiyot in Hebrew, during the eight days of Hanukkah. Kosher Pastry Oven sold more than 18,000 doughnuts each of the past two years, and this season, the owners expect to sell even more, thanks to a change in policy. There will be no pre-orders for doughnuts this year (although the shop will make an allowance for orders of 100 or more).
“The orders...slow down the work,” says Shula Eloul, owner of the shop with her baker/chef husband, Ari. “When you see 200 [pre-order] tickets hanging on the wall and you need to go find the ticket, it takes time, and the line is growing.”
Plus, as the Kosher Pastry Oven’s own Web site explains: “We want your donuts to be hot and delicious, and boxing them up to sit for hours is not conducive to freshness!”
Shula Eloul says that the Pastry Oven actually started to prepare for the rush last week. The shop has hired a few extra hands to help prepare dough, which will be made fresh three times a day during Hanukkah. (As Ari Eloul explained last year, the dough is dairy-free, made with margarine and nondairy cream.)
To handle the expected volume, the Kosher Pastry Oven will stay open later than its usual 4 p.m. closing, Shula Eloul says. It plans to stop selling doughnuts around 6 p.m., so that the operation can focus on its dinner service.
The shop will sell the standard doughnuts with raspberry filling as well as three other ones filled with caramel, custard or chocolate. The raspberry doughnuts will cost $1.50 each; the others will run $1.95. (The shop is offering a small discount for those paying with cash.)
If you don’t feel like waiting in line for your doughnuts, there are other options in the Silver Spring area. Owner Larry Dekelbaum says that Shalom Kosher Market on University Boulevard in Wheaton will be selling fresh, house-made doughnuts all through Hanukkah, including ones filled with Bavarian cream, caramel cream or the traditional raspberry. They’ll sell for $1.40 each.
In fact, should Kosher Pastry Oven’s line prove too frustrating, you can just walk across the street to Shaul’s Kosher Market, where they’ll be selling three different kinds of freshly made doughnuts, including those prepared with raspberry, caramel or Boston cream pie fillings. The market will also have some doughnuts for sale from a Baltimore company, says manager Eddie Cohen. Shaul’s doughnuts will cost $1.30 each.
The good news is that both Shalom and Shaul’s take advance orders.