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TheStarvingArtist

DOUGHNUT SOS! Professional experience/advice needed!

11 posts in this topic

So I just got hired into a new pastry spot to start in a few weeks. I have plenty of pastry experience, but the restauranteur wants me to do a large doughnut service of homemade stuff, both yeast and cake. It's a new place, so I get to request any equipment I need.

My problem is...

I've never had to make doughnuts professionally!

Sure I've done a batch here and there for special events or at home, but we're talking 500 doughnuts a day, from scratch. I've never had to use large-scale equipment or anything!
PANIC!!!

Of course, my new boss doesn't know this, and thinks I'll be a genius.. uh... help?

My main questions are these:
-What size equipment should I shoot for? This isn't a corportate/retail setting, so do I need a MASSIVE fryer? Or just a "large" one?
-Everyone argues over oil-type.. what should I use? We're trying to be health- and environment-conscious...
-I like the efficiency of using a doughnut dropper, but can't find any recipes for large-batch batter that aren't from-a-mix...advice?
-Advice/recipes on large-batches of yeast dough?
-ANY other help/advice would be so incredible!

Thank you!


Torrence O'Haire - Private Chef, FMSC Tablemaster, Culinary Scholar

"life is a combination of magic and pasta"

-F. Fellini

"We should never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."

-J. Child

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I think you just need a 'large' fryer. I think you can get by with frying one sheet pan's worth of doughnuts at a time. They still have to be flipped by hand anyway.

Very few places make dough from scratch anymore, the mixes have really taken over. That said HERE are some good formulas and instructions. Yeast doughnuts start on page 236. Cake doughnuts on 237.

I worked in an indie doughnut shop years ago. We used Dawn mix, but people loved us, I think, mostly, because the owner was obessively neat and clean and changed the oil at least once a week. Changing the oil frequently is as important as the type of fat. (we were just using some solid white deep fat fryer formulated shortening)

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Wow-- handy link, thanks! Do you ever run into any problems with scaling up the doughs? They seem pretty straightforward, so I can't imagine there would be any...

Yeah, I know most people use mixes, but the from-scratch approach is pretty much the requested calling card. Unfortunately, there wasn't a depositor-batter recipe among those in that book!

Did you wind up using a robot at your shop? Or did you do it all by hand? Having never used the large-scale equipment, I can't decide which would be the best approach...


Torrence O'Haire - Private Chef, FMSC Tablemaster, Culinary Scholar

"life is a combination of magic and pasta"

-F. Fellini

"We should never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."

-J. Child

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There shouldn't be any problem scaling up the doughs. That said, how much experience do you have with yeast breads? The temperatures are critical, especially for large batches. A large mass of dough proofing can become fairly warm just from yeast action, something that isn't as apparent in smaller batches due to faster heat diffusion into the room due to small size. Temp the water you start with get a friction factor number for your mixer, and temp the dough along the way to get consistent results.

We used a handheld depositor, but, this was in the early 1980s, so, I am sure everything has changed.

I do not have a cake recipe offhand. I will check my older professional baker's books. In the meantime, you might want to experiment with making small batches of muffin batter (check page 222 of my link in my first post) and frying that and seeing how it turns out. I am thinking that a cake doughnut should be a bit more like an old-school, slightly dry muffin to hold its shape. Modern muffin recipes are almost indistinguishable from cake recipes, and, super-moist cake doesn't hold together very well.

HERE's a guide to troubleshooting both kinds of doughnuts that looks useful.

Oh yeah, I've been slowly testing old recipes intended for use with cake scraps and using stale vanilla cake doughnuts and posting results in the Cake Scraps thread. Just a heads-up if you have leftovers to deal with.

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I do love brioche-style doughnuts... was definitely thinking in that direction, too. Thanks for the link, Annie!


Torrence O'Haire - Private Chef, FMSC Tablemaster, Culinary Scholar

"life is a combination of magic and pasta"

-F. Fellini

"We should never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."

-J. Child

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Unfortunately, there wasn't a depositor-batter recipe among those in that book!

Are you talking about Professional Baking by Gisslen? Maybe I've misunderstood but he discusses using the depositors with his cake-type doughnut.

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Unfortunately, there wasn't a depositor-batter recipe among those in that book!

Are you talking about Professional Baking by Gisslen? Maybe I've misunderstood but he discusses using the depositors with his cake-type doughnut.

Unless I'm completely missing it, I don't think so. He mentions using a depositor, but immediately says that "most people use a mix-- follow the directions for your mix." He doesn't actually give any info/recipes/etc. on making the correct texture of batter.

I could just be missing where you're referencing, though?


Torrence O'Haire - Private Chef, FMSC Tablemaster, Culinary Scholar

"life is a combination of magic and pasta"

-F. Fellini

"We should never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."

-J. Child

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Here is a formula/method from a course I took some years ago...

Yeast Raised Doughnuts (World's Fair)

Water (75F - 80F) 16 oz

Yeast 1 oz

Eggs 4 oz

Sugar 2 oz

Milk Powder 2 oz

Bread flour 20 oz

Pastry flour 12 oz

Baking powder 0.5 oz

Salt 0.5 oz

Nutmeg pinch

Emulsified shortening 6 oz

Method: Straight dough (prep and mixing time - 15 minutes)

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water, eggs and sugar. Stir to mix.
  2. Add the flours, milk powder, baking powder, salt and nutmeg and mix on speed #1 with the dough hook until incorporated.
  3. Add shortening and mix on speed #2 for 8 minutes
  4. Remove and bulk proof for 30 minutes (proof time will vary according to the amount of yeast used)
  5. Cut off a large piece of dough and roll to 1/2 inch thickness.
  6. Cut into doughnuts 1.5 oz each
  7. Roll out the remaining dough with scraps; let rest, proof 50% (15 - 20 minutes)
  8. Fry at 360F - 375F for 4- 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides
  9. Drain, ice with fondant or doughnut glaze (optional)

Variation: Jelly doughnuts - use 3 lb. 8 oz. presses


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Unless I'm completely missing it, I don't think so. He mentions using a depositor, but immediately says that "most people use a mix-- follow the directions for your mix." He doesn't actually give any info/recipes/etc. on making the correct texture of batter.

I could just be missing where you're referencing, though?

I own the book, so I went back and read it and you're right. That's incredibly strange that he would recommend using a "mix" when this is a textbook for some pastry programs.

I own The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg as well, so I went ahead and checked that and he doesn't even mention a depositor at all or a cake doughnut recipe.

Luckily, Joe Pastry has covered cake doughnuts using a depositor quite well plus a "troubleshooting" guide and more:

http://www.joepastry.com/category/pastry/doughnuts/cake-doughnuts/

The posts are in reverse chronological order, so start from the bottom to find the depositor doughnut recipe and work your way up. If your issue is scaling, what I would do is just set flour at 100% then figure out the rest of the percentages then compare the large-scale doughnut to Joe's original.


Edited by Rozin Abbas (log)

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I really liked this post as I'm looking for recipes to start a donut shop overseas. Could you give us an update?

- What recipes did you end up using? Premade mix or did you create your own mix from scratch?

- What were some of the difficulties in setting up the cooking process and what were some critical points in scaling up that you didn't foresee? How did you overcome these critical points?

- How many donuts are you doing now?

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