On a typical day, Issac Yosef and his crew at his San Francisco kosher bakery bake 500 donuts a day.
But for Hanukkah – when greasy food is champion, harkening back to the miracle where the Temple oil lasted eight days when there was enough for only one? Yosef makes much, much more.
“Yesterday, I made 4,000 sufganiyot,” the co-owner of Frena Bakery said, using the Hebrew word for jelly donut – a huge treat in Israel for the eight-day Festival of Lights. The word in Hebrew traces back to the Greek word “sufan,” which means spongy or fried. The dessert eaten on Hanukkah is a deep-fried, jelly-filled donut, topped with powdered sugar.
Frena opened last year at 132 6th Street and specializes in savory Mediterranean pastries. Many of the recipes were gleaned from Yosef’s great-grandfather who traveled from Iraq to Israel. Frena means oven in Greek. It is one of the only kosher bakeries in the Bay Area, and the only one in San Francisco.
Hanukkah begins Tuesday night at sundown.