The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Donuts & Gluten Structure Formation

foodbag's picture

Donuts & Gluten Structure Formation

Hey Guys!

Just joined this website and thought you guys could help me with some donut making


I've been running my donut business now for a few months but I'm having issue with my gluten formation causing the donuts to become 'spongy'. At first my donuts were very dense and heavy - this I realised was due to adding flour at the end of the mix. 

I now use a brioche tyoe of recipe in which I add flour, sugar and salt first then I add the milk yeast mix and eggs/egg yolk and then the butter at the end after everything is incorporated.. The donuts are much lighter & tastier so that issue has now been resolved... However!!!, this gluten structure formation is driving me NUTS. 

I have been researching a ton of websites and I found one that explained how water causes the gluten strands to form. Whereas Fat, coats the strands causing them not to form. In addition the protein from Eggs help with gluten formation, which I have tested and it is true. The problem I found is that if I add eggs first before the milk mix, the dough turns clumpy and there are tiny clumps of unmixed flour at the end of the full mix which affects the dough and is pretty annoying, and it is not possible to mix it in. 

Now I use the recipe with mini donuts and the structure/sponginess is fully formed. so my thought is the proofing process or the size of the donut - I am however using a traditional donut cutter so I wouldn't have thought that would've been an issue. 

Any ideas on what is happening or ideas to test out? 


I'll add photos soon to this post 





clazar123's picture

If you are using bread flour, switch to AP. Bread flour will give you exactly that kind of crumb.

Donuts need some gluten formation and AP flour has adequate gluten for the job. Cake/pastry flour has too little gluten capability and you will end up with pancakes. You can continue to make it as a brioche dough In proper brioche order) or try your former method but with AP flour.