Tuesday, June 4, 2019

🍩 National Doughnut Day - Videos

I've died and gone to Donut Heaven this week on Friday, June 7th is National Doughnut Day! Click here to see local Los Angeles donut deals, and even at Walmarts across the good old U.S.A, hurrah!!

From the Donut Man at the edge of L.A. County in Glendora to my local donut shop Krispy Kreme right down the road, or a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean is DK's in Santa Monica -- let's check out the donut scene here around Los Angeles.

For a couple of summer months, my fave donut is from Donut Man, and my considerate neighbor drives out to Glendora once a year to bring back a few boxes for our condo complex. I always get at least three Peach Donuts.

And each donut is huge, loaded with freshly peeled and sliced peaches. At $4.50 per donut, these are not cheap, but each one weights 3/4 of a pound and last time I counted there were 10 peach slices per donut. And the pastry donut part is humongous as well.

The pastry is a yeast-style, so it's light, airy and has a sweet sugar glaze. 

For a neighborhood dunker I've been going to DK's Donuts in Santa Monica lately. It's on the way to one of my favorite movie theaters, the Aero, where I've been known to make a homebound late night stop. 

They are located in a mini-mall of course, and in the alley behind the store is an angel wings/donut halo mural pictured at top of this blog post. So go there for your own Instagram donut halo selfie.

And they have the most picture perfect donuts around. Exhibit A is their Original Ube Purple Yam Donut. It looks unusual but tastes like any regular donut. 

It's a heavy cake sweet donut. The purple color is from a Japanese yam, but the donut doesn't taste like a yam. Most of DK's donuts are $3 each.

Their next standout donut is worthy of a pot of gold, the most colorful Rainbow Donut.

But the prettiest donut in town is right there as well, an Edible Flower Donut, made with a mild-tasting orchid flower.

My go to local pastry is a Krispy Kreme Doughnut. They're so good I had to learn how to make my own, and just watch the next video below and you will learn too.

What is it about a Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut? Crusted with sugar, Krispy Kreme doughnuts are so soft, slight and featherweight you are left wanting more -- all for about a buck apiece.
When I first had them, I was reminded of powdered beignets from Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Both are made with a yeast-risen dough; and, in fact, the original recipe for Krispy Kreme was purchased from a New Orleans French pastry chef over 70 years ago.

The ingredients for this East Coast confection are simple and inexpensive: yeast, flour, sugar, milk, one egg and vanilla flavoring. Krispy Kreme's recipe is secreted away, so I am approximating.

You can experiment with doughnut dough flavors, using different flours (wheat) and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or chocolate powder (or chocolate syrup), and fruit juice (or pureed fruit) instead of water. Watch the video -- it's easy to make a baker's dozen.
Krispy Kreme Donut - VIDEO
Play it here. The video runs 7 minutes, 5 seconds.

To make your own Krispy Kreme on National Doughnut Day just follow my simple directions below:

Doughnut Ingredients (Baker's dozen - about 13)
  • 1/2 package yeast (video shows 1 package) - about 1 tablespoon of dried yeast.
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (100 degrees)
  • 2 cups flour - cheap, white all-purpose. Okay to try out different types for extra flavor and texture.
  • 3/4 cup of warm milk (100 degrees) or milk substitute
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 stick (28 grams) of butter or shortening - softened to room temperature.
  • Vegetable oil for frying donuts
*Wide skillet or pot with vegetable oil one inch deep -- the doughnuts will float (in the video I used 3 cups of oil - oil is reusable.)

Sugar Glaze Ingredients and Directions
  • 1/4 stick butter (28 grams) 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. water (clear glaze) or milk (white glaze)

Directions for Glaze
Melt butter and add to powdered sugar, vanilla and water. Mix well for a couple of minutes. Pour into shallow dish for dipping/coating warm doughnuts. For harder glaze leave out butter.

*Here is a great website that converts my ingredients into grams (for all my international cook visitors), just click here.

Directions for Doughnuts 
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water, then add warm milk, egg, sugar, butter and flour. Mix well for a few minutes (electric mixer for 2, or 5 minutes by hand). Cover dough for at least a hour, or overnight for breakfast doughnuts.  

On a lightly floured surface, roll out doughnut dough with a rolling pin about 1/2 an inch thick. 

The dough is much softer and sticker than typical bread dough. To make it easier to work with sprinkle on flour as needed -- or just plop the dough on a floured board and pad it down out with your hands.

Cut doughnuts with a cutter (I used a coffee cup), then a smaller cutter (bottle top) for the centers. You can set aside the doughnut holes with the doughnuts or re-roll them for another doughnut or two. Let cut doughnuts set another half an hour to rise one last time before frying.

When doughnuts have risen, heat oil in a wide shallow pan to about 350 degrees (medium heat). Test one of the doughnut holes in the oil - it should bubble and quickly brown the doughnut hole. 

Fry one doughnut at a time until you get the hang of it - I burned a couple. Watch carefully, as doughnuts will begin to brown along the edge in a few seconds. Flip doughnut over to brown the other side.

 It may take a few tries - a light to medium brown doughnut is done enough. Set cooked doughnuts on a rack or on paper towels to drain. 

Finally, dip one side of doughnut in a shallow bowl of sugar glaze -- then enjoy! 

99 thanks to the Baldwin Hills Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store, their employees and customers for allowing me to shoot video.

Location: 4034 Crenshaw Blvd.
L0s Angeles, CA. 90008
Phone: 323) 291-4133
Drive-thru open 24 hours.

 And if you like a good time, be sure to check out my Judging the Donut Summit 2 video below.  It is chock full of crullers, dunkers, bear claws, chocolate glazes, and lemon filling. I recorded the outdoor park event while selecting best of show donuts, including Best Vegan, Filling, Chocolate, Raised (Yeast), Fritter, Unconventional, and Visually Appealing.

It was fun judging such a prestigious event. Highlights included an Awards Ceremony with donut medallions, Donut Croquet, and a Donut Poetry Slam -- be sure to listen to the hilarious limerick, "The Babysitter." To see photos and read more about it, click here.
Judging the Donut Summit 2 Video
Play it here. The video runs 5 minutes, 34 seconds.

Another local donut fave is Randy's Donuts is on the way to LAX Airport, so if you are on the 405 freeway, exit for a donut or two.

Last Superbowl our local team, Los Angeles Rams, were in the NFL Playoffs. While we were not victorious Randy's left a sweet taste in our mouths with a couple special edition pastries they served during that exciting time, and I made a video about them right here:

Let's leave for New Orleans and enter Cafe Du Monde for beignets, fried puffs of dough covered in a blizzard of powdered sugar.

Cafe Du Monde is a must stop when you are touring the French Quarter in New Orleans. Open 24 hours, every local has had coffee au lait with beignets here. The coffee is flavored with chicory, and the beignets look like they've been hit by a powdered sugar avalanche!

The original Cafe Du Monde was just a stand started in the 1860s at the French Market. Now it has a huge green and white striped awning which covers the patio and a smaller indoor dining area -- all barely cooled with ceiling fans. Want a behind-the-scenes tour of the place?  The 99 Cent Chef has it. You'll see the waitstaff busting coffee cups and beignets amid snow drifts of powdered sugar. And its cheap -- 3 beignets and coffee for about $5 total.

The coffee beans are dark roast. To tone down coffee's bitterness, it's brewed with chicory. You can order your coffee "black" or light brown "au lait" -- au lait means half milk and half coffee.

The beignets are deep fried squares of pillowy dough covered in powdered sugar. Yeast is used, so the doughnuts are light and airy like a sponge. You will get dusted with white powdered sugar, so make sure to lay out napkins on your lap, especially if you are wearing black. I usually shake off the powdered sugar -- enough is left on to sweeten the beignets.

If you want to make your own homemade beignets, Cafe Du Monde has a mix to sell you on its website, here. Or you can just use my Krispy Kreme Doughnut recipe, that's posted here. The only thing you need to change about my recipe is to cut the doughnuts into squares, and, of course, don't punch out a donut hole.

Cafe Du Monde is a great way to start, or end, your French Quarter tour.

Cafe Du Monde - Video
Play it here. The video runs about 1 minute and 32 seconds.

Cafe Du Monde - for various Louisiana locations, click here.
Main location: 800 Decatur Street, New Orleans, La. 70116
Phone: (504) 525-4544
Website: www.cafedumonde.com

Speaking of the end, let's return to the beginning...of the waking walk to your coffee machine to jumpstart the early morning when you are foggy and don't always think your actions through. Well, watch my video below and let me know if you have ever gone to the extremes I have for a desperate jolt of caffeine -- with a side of Krispy Kreme!

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