How to not burn a doughnut


We have this thing about doughnuts.

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That thing being, mainly, that we both love them as an idea and hate them whenever we encounter them in the real world. Theoretically, there cannot be anything wrong with a ring of wispily-sweet yeasted dough, boiled in golden oil, dusted with sugar. In reality, most doughnuts try too hard and still don’t make it: the dough is too sweet and not light enough. As if to compensate, they are then overwhelmed with fancy toppings, which act like competing divas at the opera. It’s too much, and not enough.

And yes. Tash and I are bitchy old broads in 20-something women’s bodies. We hate most things, and we are rarely satisfied with food that we do not make ourselves.

But enough about us.

Ever since Tash started making sourdough bread earlier this year, I’ve dropped subtle hints about the possibility of sourdough doughnuts. I feel like I don’t need to explain why. Suffice to say: it would clearly be easy and also very delicious. We are good cooks, and have made doughnuts, and all sorts of other, more finicky foods, with success. So what happened to the sourdough doughnuts was unexpected.

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The dough was heavy. Too heavy, in fact, to cook through. The first attempts at deep-frying them produced a doughnut that embraced its identity too literally: a hard, burned, nutshell crust, hiding a gooey-doughy ball inside.

So we reassessed. The charcoal bits were, after all, promising. Once you got past the carbon taste, that is. We double-checked the oil temperature (too hot? too cool?). We made the doughnuts smaller. Come hell or high oil, we were going to succeed.

And it worked. They cooked through, puffed up, and golden-browned.

Still slightly heavier that your traditional yeasted doughnut, these taste like a more sophisticated cousin of the sour cream doughnut. Some we dusted with icing sugar, some we slathered with leftover lemon curd.

So there you have it. We’ve decided to start a blog, mainly as a personal record of what we like doing and how to do it better. If all else fails, we’ll at least get to eat our mistakes, generously slathered with lemon curd. – Rachel

IMG_4127Our sourdough doughnut recipe is adapted from here (start with less flour, and substitute lemon zest for cinnamon). 

Leftover lemon curd is from Smitten Kitchen.

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