After all this doughnut making lately, coming so soon after two full years of paleo baking with, let’s face it, not fun to work with ingredients, I’m resolving myself to starting over in my baking education. Sure, I can bake a mean cake (like, the best fucking cake you’ve ever had), but when it comes to working with pastries and ratios and the basics of the science behind it all, I’m still a newb.
On Tuesday, I decided to make a cream doughnut, based on some rather old recipes from a really old cookbook I have. But let’s just say that…well, they sucked. They would have made a great bagel probably…tough, chewy and dense. You don’t know baking disappointment until you’ve worked for over an hour on a dough, heated your deep fryer, made icing and gotten everything ready. The minute the dough went into the fryer, I knew they were garbage.
It’s not just the disappointment of not getting to eat delicious hot doughnuts straight out of the fryer either. For me it comes down to the wasted time, energy and money. All those ingredients I had to throw away! I HATE food waste, it’s in my list of “Top 10 Things I Hate”. Yeah, I’m an optimist, so the list is pretty short.
In any case, the next day after committing to making no more doughnuts (WTF?!), I resigned myself to make a new batch using science based recipes. So I went to my handy iPhone and looked at Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio App that I’ve used successfully before. I’ll be going there much more often too, because it’s science and baking is a science…so, uh, well…they go together! Creating recipes is all about the right mix of ingredients reacting with each other.
Take these delightfully fluffy Doughnut FRYday – French Crullers, based on Ruhlman’s Pate a Choux recipe. They were perfect, light and fluffy little balls of awesome and they took no time at all. The app is great for all kinds of baking too, pies, cookies, muffins, etc. I can’t wait to see what else I can create using these amazing science based ratios. Hurray for Science!
One year ago: Braised Rabbit
Two years ago: Paleo Pancakes
Three years ago: Whole Wheat Machine Bread (my MOST popular recipe of all time!)
Four years ago: Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Five years ago: Crispy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies