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Donut problem- Not frying right, can't figure out why!


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We're a small local bakery, and are using the same recipe we've used for months and months.
All of a sudden this morning, the doughnuts aren't expanding correctly-- they're puffing "internally", filling their own hole and turning into big, crunchy batter-lumps. They're obscenely oily, and simply not right.
My sous-chef is confident she followed the recipe exactly. The oil-temp is correct.
The only major difference is that *usually* our batter rests overnight, and this batter was fresh-made, but we've definitely used fresh-made batter before with no major problems.

Any ideas as to what's going wrong??

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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The first step in trouble shooting is to understand what you're doing.  What's the recipe?  What dispenser are you using for the batter?  How many donuts are you doing in a batch?  What's the oil temp?  Have you tested it after product is in the vat?

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Are they browning differently?  With apologies to your sous chef, it sounds like a mistake was made, either a mis-measurement on flour or switching baking powder and soda.  I would give the mystery batter a rest overnight and see if it fries up right tomorrow.  Meanwhile, make another batch that you know is right, and see how that fries without a rest.

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Just my uneducated guess is that there was a sub of baking powder for soda. I have never made donuts but have made a similar product where I inadvertently used BP in place of soda and had a similar reaction in the fryer.

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Check the fryer oil temp with a probe thermometer, then from this day forward, whenever a cook tells you "I followed the recipe" believe your eyes, not your ears.

Always speak your mind. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter won't mind.

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