Anyone have a good recipe for sourdough doughnuts?
Doughnuts work using high yeast for rapid expansion, plus high sugar to soften the dough, and high fat to lubricate the protein-based gluten chains. I don't see that sourdough can contribute anything to help the above principles.
I'm a devoted real bread baker, and I really live teaching my students how to make doughnuts. But the 2 really have nothing in common to me.
That makes sense...thanks for saving me from wasting my time on that. What's a good simple doughnut to make for someone that is making them for the first time?
My recipe uses an Improver, and works on no time basis.
You could make it without the improver, but it would need some bulk fermentation, obviously. They are not the healthiest food on the planet, as you will quickly realise when reading through the recipe:
[% OF FLOUR]
Strong White Flour
If you need any more help, give me a shout
What is the dough conditioner and where do I get it?
You will struggle to get hold of a dough conditioner/improver used in the recipe. It is only available commercially. I teach bakery in a College, so can get it through wholesale supplies.
I know that is of little use to you. Apologies, I can't do much about that.
The Improver consists of 2 additives which work to influence the structure of the dough. There are a number of other mystery materials from a host of derivatives, and you will gather that I am not at all a fan of the addition of such nonsense to our bread. The advantage is that it allows for a far more rapid processing of dough, which speeds up the manufacturing time taken...commercially time = money, yes?
So, the additives which work on structure: 1] an additive such as l-ascorbic acid [vitamin c] which strengthens the network of gluten formed by mixing, by encouraging the development of cross bonds to give an elastic dough. 2] a reducing agent, which works to breakdown these inter-linking cross-bonds, so encouraging the dough to become extensible, in order to successfully incorporate gas from the fermentation, thus allowing the dough to expand. Traditionally the reducer was l-cysteine in the UK. Now the clever ingredients manufacturers use enzymes instead. Due to loopholes in EU legislation, these enzymes do not have to be declared on the packaging labels. This is because they are categorised as "processing aids". Make what you will of this, but some of us are extremely unhappy about it over here!
The traditional way to soften the gluten, and thus create an extensible dough, is through a longer fermentation process; now you can maybe get to see where sourdough may have a role to play. Trouble is doughnuts need the high fat/sugar/yeast mix I was explaining to you, to cope with the huge expansion as the dough balls hit the hot fat.
I know it's probably not the simple answer you wanted, but I hope this is both of interest and instructive for you.