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Donut help - browns too quickly? Maybe some bread experts can help me out please?

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jvlin's picture
jvlin

Donut help - browns too quickly? Maybe some bread experts can help me out please?

I'm testing a new donut recipe that browns too quickly in the fryer. I fry at 375 degrees, which is the recommended temperature for donuts. I use flour, butter, sugar, cornstarch, eggs, baking powder, yeast, and water. Hydration content is about 70% after calculating 75% of the eggs.

I know many of you are not donut experts, but I think that there is a lot of overlap between donuts and bread. What are some things that can cause browning too quickly? Low hydration? Butter solids instead of oil? Sugar? The main thing I use sugar for is the instant yeast. Should I not use any? I'm only using 20g of sugar for 4g of yeast.

Thank you so much! I appreciate it.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the question is what is the sugar% to flour?  

I would say turn down the fryer, just because 375°F  is recommended doesn't mean it has to be set at that temp.  The fryer probably heats a little too hot in the beginning and then backs down after it reaches temperature.  Wait a little bit before dropping in donuts and get yourself a separate thermometer to double check the temp..  

My donuts use 320°F  which may be a tiny bit low,  fry one donut and see if you should raise it.  it is easier to heat the fryer up than to cool it down.

Too brown outside and not done inside ----> means too hot no mater what the temp setting says.

jvlin's picture
jvlin

Thanks a bunch mini! I use about 220g flour to 20g sugar. Does this seem right to you? Will increasing hydration% help?

I am just concerned because quite literally every source I've read has said a lower temperature for donuts will cause excessive absorption of grease. I am trying to start a business, so it is of paramount importance that I get it right.

Thanks a ton!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

only.  Which seems low so I don't think it's the sugar.  

I read the sleeve to my probe thermometer and it says for donuts 350°F to 375°F  so might want to start out closer to 350°F.  Another recipe with about the same amount of sugar suggests 340°F.   increasing hydration? lower the temp first and look at the donut, and see if it has absorbed fat.  

What kind of "grease" are you using?  That might make a difference.  oil vs solid fats.

I hope a more up to date donut person jumps in here.  It's been a long time since I did donuts.

jvlin's picture
jvlin

By Increasing hydration percentage, I mean just adding some more water. I would think that might help how quickly it browns?

As far as grease goes, I'm using vegetable oil with some crisco mixed in for now, enough that it slightly solidifies. I've got a commercial kitchen with equipment set up already. As soon as we get things ready there, we are switching to 100% palm oil shortening (olera) and should have better results. The vegetable/crisco mix right now is only temporary for my tiny home fryer. Thanks again!

andychrist's picture
andychrist

You don't use any salt in this recipe? I've never made donuts myself but from what I know about pastries, salt helps to keep them from scorching. Of course butter does brown more than most vegetable fat too but I have no idea whether that would be an issue in a deep fryer. If so then you could try clarifying the butter. Agree with Mini though, sounds like the oil is getting too hot, at least for the particular recipe you are using.

Oh and how would you be able to make donuts without sugar in the batter, isn't it necessary both for the flavor and as a humectant? Unless you glaze them heavily? Sorry but I know donuts about donuts!

jvlin's picture
jvlin

That's a great idea! I guess I need salt! I don't know too much about salt, only that it counteracts yeast, which is why I was hesitant to put any in. If anyone could chime in on why it's needed, I would be happy to listen.

My dough is not particularly sweet with or without the sugar; it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference. I plan on putting a layer of sweet glaze on top. I think other donuts are similar in that the base is not really sweet, which is why I don't mind omitting part of the sugar.

Thanks!

gerhard's picture
gerhard

The temperature sounds pretty good to me, you go too low and you will end up with excessive oil absorption.  How long is your bulk ferment, at room temperature with adequate yeast it should be around 45 minutes to an hour.  If the dough doesn't double during the bulk ferment increase the water temperature slightly.  I found when making small batches of donuts it is much more difficult to get consistent results.

Gerhard

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that would be about 0.3g for 220g of flour for europeans, more for the average north american.  Takes the flatness out in the flavour department.  Salt doesn't counteract yeast, it supports it.  

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I always fry mine around 360 F.