Go nuts for doughnuts: Where to get them, how to make them and what’s next in the world of doughnuts, by BIRD

By
Eve O'Sullivan
Added
13 May, 2015
Tags
doughnuts
coffee
national doughnut week

The Doughnut Hatch is such a brilliant concept that we’re not sure how our sweet toothes were satisfied prior to its existence. Piping-hot filter coffee and yeasted ring doughnuts are served from a hole in the wall of Cara Ceppetelli and Paul Heming’s fried chicken restaurant, BIRD, in London’s Shoreditch from 8am until late, which has just celebrated its first birthday. From decadent peanut butter and dark chocolate to sweet fruit glazes and cinnamon sugar, they know the key to a good sweet treat – and the answer is surprisingly simple.



Love at first bite

Paul and Cara herald from Toronto, but say it was The Doughnut Vault in Chicago that really ignited a passion for them. ‘We grew up on doughnuts from Tim Hortons, a Canadian chain; going there after playing ice hockey on a Saturday morning was such an exciting thing to do. Favourite doughnuts from childhood were things like cruellers, dutchies, apple cider doughnuts, old-fashioneds and cake doughnuts.’ But when it came to The Doughnut Hatch, they settled on the simplicity of ring doughnuts. ‘I think English people like more traditional yeasted doughnuts, and from being in the queues around the block for The Doughnut Vault in a Chicago winter, it made us think perfecting a glazed ring style doughnut, then changing the glazes, was the best way to go.’


It’s all about consistency

‘It took months to perfect our doughnut,’ says Paul, ‘because the hardest thing to get right every time is a consistent texture; oil temperature, thickness, proving time and even the temperature of the dough hitting the oil all play a part.’ His advice? ‘Give your dough time. We make ours the day before, then fry them cold from the fridge the next day. The dough puffs up in the oil, so you don’t need to wait around for it to rise again at room temperature.’


If at first you don’t succeed…

Baking with yeast can be intimidating, and disappointing if your much-cared-for dough ends up flat and rock solid. But don’t be disheartened. ‘It’s about practice,’ Cara adds. ‘People are afraid of trying to do it at home, but once you’ve had a go a few times, you’ve put a template in place so it will become easier. Investing in a proper thermometer for your oil is essential, too. The exact right temperature is 180C.’


Three things all good doughnuts should have


  • Height

‘It has to have risen sufficiently to retain the hole in the middle of the doughnut,’ says Paul. ‘You’re looking for at least 4.5cm.’


  • Bounce

Cara’s advice? ‘It can’t be too dense, but is can’t be too holey, either, as it will soak up too much oil, so don’t over-prove’.


  • Bite back

‘You know it’s the right consistency when you take a bite, and it springs back,’ they say.


Fancy making your own doughnuts? Try these.

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