Latkes

Latkes are the traditional potato pancakes of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday. Ours aren’t fried in oil like they usually are, but the oil in the recipe — along with the oven baking — makes them lacy and crunchy, and represents the holiday as well.

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Hands-on time: 45   |    Total time: 80   |    Makes: 12 latkes

KITCHEN GEAR

1 large or 2 small rimmed baking sheets
Measuring spoons
Small bowl
Box grater (adult needed)
Plate
Colander
Paper towels
Large bowl
Large spoon
Heatproof spatula
Pot holders

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
3 tablespoon all-purpose white or whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large Russet or 3 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 small onion
1 large egg
Applesauce and plain Greek yogurt for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

  1. Turn the oven on and set the heat to 425 degrees. Lightly oil the baking sheet (or sheets) by spreading the oil around with your clean hand or a paper towel.
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, and salt in the small bowl and mix well.
  3. Use the large holes on your grater to grate the potatoes and onion onto the plate.
  4. Put the colander in the sink and put the potato and onion mixture into it. Using a paper towel, press the potato mixture down to squeeze out and blot up some of the extra liquid. Stir the mixture and press and blot again.
  5. Put the potato mixture in the large bowl, add the egg, and stir well. Add the flour mixture and stir in very well.
  6. Pick up a clump of the potato mixture using a spoon or your clean fingers. Spread it into a round, flat nest on the oiled baking sheet: it should make a circle that’s about 3 inches wide and 1⁄4 inch thick. Repeat to fill the sheet. (You don’t need to leave much space between them.)
  7. Once the oven temperature has reached 425 degrees, carefully put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the bottoms are deeply golden, 15-20 minutes.
  8. Turn the latkes over and bake until they are very crispy, 10-15 minutes. Serve right away with applesauce and yogurt.

FOOD HISTORY

Latkes are traditionally fried in oil to celebrate the oil that miraculously kept the menorah lit during the eight nights of lights. A menorah is a special Hanukkah candle holder that also celebrates this holiday, with one candle lit for each night.