i am currently in vietnam, helping out friends who have decided to
open up a donut shop in hanoi. after some trial and lots of errors,
haha....we have gotten cake donuts under control. very happy with
them. yeast donuts have been giving me fits lately. i have been
learning on the job how technical and precise baking has to be for a
novice. i was lucky enough to work with a guy who had taught at the
CIA, and he impressed this fact upon me. so, i am working hard to have
things as controlled as possible--flours, yeasts, enviroment,
before we had a proofing box, we were taking the donuts to rise
upstairs where it's hot, and dry(some days it's humid and rainy) and
the results would obviously differ. some days perfect risen and fried
donuts, other days hollow shells. but now that we have the proofer,
it's still hit or miss. my friends purchased the donut making DVD from
ed chastain , and while it's a little
confusing sometimes, i'm trying to make it work.
here's the recipe we are using:
YEAST DONUT WITH MASHED POTATO
1134g SIFTED FLOUR
115g SCRAP DOUGH
½ CUP MILK
½ CUP BUTTERMILK
1/8 CUP ICE WATER 35g
½ CUP SUGAR
½ CUP SHORTENING
2 TABLESPOON SALT
1 tspoon vanilla powder
MELT SHORTENING IN PAN WITH ½ CUP MILK , SUGAR AND SALT. WHEN MELTED,
ADD ½ CUP BUTTERMILK AND ICE WATER
1 CUP WARM WATER
½ CUP WARM MASHED POTATO
COMBINE YEAST AND WATER IN MIXING BOWL, AND LET ACTIVATE 5 MINUTES.
ADD EGGS AND WARM MASHED POTATO AND MIX WITH WHISK. CHANGE TO PADDLE,
AND ADD ½ OF FLOUR, ½ OF MILK MIXTURE AND MIX 1 MINUTE, SCRAPING BOWL.
CHANGE TO DOUGH HOOK, AND ADD REMAINING MILK MIX AND FLOUR, SCRAPING
BOWL. ADD SCRAP DOUGH AND MIX TILL ELASTIC, DOUGH PULLS AWAY FROM
BOWL, AND CAN BE STRETCHED 4-5 INCHES BEFORE BREAKING.
in the e-book, with your calculations for the brew, you use a room
temp for the flour as 71F. ours is 85F. we have tried to change and
adapt the recipe to get the final "brew" temp down to 82-85F, for
example--heating the milk to 210F, then adding the shortening,
buttermilk, cold mashed potato, eggs, sugar....to try and get the
liquid as cold as possible to keep the final dough temp at 82-85F.
today we even put the flour in the fridge for 2hrs.
we follow the recipe exactly with weights and measures, including
scrap dough----we are using instant yeast as opposed to fresh---and
our dough comes out of the mixer at 90F normally. it has a good
texture, like in the DVD, i do not think we are over or under mixing.
when we give it "bench time" of 30 minutes at a room temp of 75-80F,
nothing happens. no rise in the dough, no temp increase which would
show the yeast working. is it because our dough is 90F? will the yeast
not activate at 90F? even when we chilled the flour, and got our dough
temp after mixing down to 85F, we had the same result. no action with
the dough at room temp. when we then take the dough and put it in the
dry proofer in our bowl at 100F, we get action after 30 min.
we then "loaf/ball" the dough, but once again, at room temp of 75-80,
we get no action with the dough--no double in size, no velvet
consistency, like you get from just leaving it on the bench. what is
your average room temp in your donut shop??? if we put it in the
proofer for another 30min at 100F, we get a nice rise from the proof,
like in the video DVD
after the "loaf/ball' step is complete, after the 2nd rise, we then
roll and cut. in the DVD, you use a dough docker to "relax" the dough.
we do not have one yet, but are having one brought to us by a friend
from the usa soon. how important is docking the dough to the final
donut rise??? we have tried poking some holes with plastic forks---i
know, not quite the same thing....and it didn't have any effect on the
when you put the donuts in the "humid" proof, because "yeast donuts
love humidity" is there actual steam in the air? or just warm
water--providing the moisture? we have been making actual steam in our
proofer, and while we get a decent rise, it's not as high as in the
DVD. is it bad, if it is TOO humid? will this effect the proof height?
we then move the donuts to the "dry" proofer, to form the shell, and
dry the donuts out before frying.
on the plus side, our donuts remain the same size when we fry them,
just like yours in the DVD. but as i said before, we need 1/2" more
rise for perfect donuts
sometimes they absorb too much grease......by how much do you
increase the shortening in the dough to prevent this? and if we follow
the recipe exactly, by how much should we decrease the sugar or salt
if it is affecting the yeast in the initial mixing and fermentation?
we are using 10-10.5% protein flour right now. is this too light in
protein for good rising yeast donuts?
we are using SAF brand instant yeast. is fresh yeast better and
more active and consistent for a good rise in the dough?
has anyone ever heard of using bread flour, or mixing in some high
gluten and really working the dough? from everything i have seen, you
want to be somewhat careful not to overmix the dough, or you will get
tough yeast donuts.
i googled "yeast donut troubleshooting", and got some helpful ideas....but
while helpful, it seems there are no clear cut magic answers in
baking, just like in life!!!
so we will keep on experimenting.......
if anyone had the time to read all of this, and has any tips or
suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated, thanks scott