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how to handle donuts for à la carte


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I was thinking of putting (raised/yeasted) donuts on the à la carte menu at night and was wondering if anyone has had any experience with them in a restaurant environment. I would be making the dough during the day and I will have a separate fryer for the donuts so they don't absorb bizarre odours. Since my shift starts at 6 AM, the garde manger station would be frying/plating the donut dish during service at night.

What I am unsure about is how I am going to handle the proofing. We do not have a separate proof box so I will probably have to rig something up. For the moment I am thinking of proofing only a certain amount every night and if we run out by say 10 pm then we run out. However, that would mean that I would be proofing a large amount of donuts late in the afternoon. I am afraid that the donuts would be sitting out proofing for several hours and they would be overproofed by frying time (hope that makes sense). So, would it be best if I punched out the donuts and stuck them in the fridge or freezer and have them pulled/proofed as needed? Or perhaps I could proof them ahead of time and freeze them in their proofed stage so they could be popped directly into the fryer...

Any thoughts?

"Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where all the fruit is?" -Frank Scully
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i have done donuts for service and the easiest is:

1) make the dough and proof - this can be done several hours before service

2) roll and shape - cut out shapes, etc.

3) place on sprayed parchment and wrap in plastic

4) allow to proof for about 15-20 minutes more depending on how small your donuts are and how warm your space is

5) place in fridge and keep refrigerated during service and fry as needed

they should have proofed enough before refrigerating and the refrigeration is just retarding the dough. it shouldn't need anything more than that and they'll puff up nicely in the fryer.

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The recipe we use (which I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to post - sorry) makes a very soft, almost liquid, yeasted dough/batter that we freeze in flexipans. When solid, we pop them out and and store on sheet pans in the freezer. At service they go directly from freezer to fryer and hot to the table, no proofing.

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I would not ask Neil to reveal any proprietary information, but I just had to check on this: when you freeze the dough/batter, has it proofed or raised at all prior to freezing? If not, I find it remarkable that a raw and unproofed yeast doughnut could go frozen right into the fryer and rise to acceptable levels just during the frying process.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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I would not ask Neil to reveal any proprietary information, but I just had to check on this: when you freeze the dough/batter, has it proofed or raised at all prior to freezing?  If not, I find it remarkable that a raw and unproofed yeast doughnut could go frozen right into the fryer and rise to acceptable levels just during the frying process.

Nope, no proofing. However, the yeast is not the only leavening agent. Sorry to be so cryptic, but I'm afraid I've already said too much. :unsure:

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Thanks for the tips! I think I'll be trying what alanamoana suggested... I'll let you know how it goes soon as the donuts are on the menu for this weekend. cheers!

"Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where all the fruit is?" -Frank Scully
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