Last of a 2-part donut post
When GoNuts Donuts first exploded onto the food scene about two years ago, the inevitable comparisons to Krispy Kreme were endless. People were divided into two camps ”“ those who thought GoNuts was just as good or even better than Krispy Kreme, and those who maintained that GoNuts was just a trying hard donut wannabe.
I for one, never really got the connection. Why bother comparing? Like I said before, all Filipinos ever had then was Mister Donut and Dunkin Donuts. Both stores offer a cakey kind of donut, which is a far cry from the light and almost ethereal discs that GoNuts introduced to the public.
Comparisons be damned, I’m just grateful that Filipinos now have the choice between dense and delicate. While the Krispy Kremes I’ve tried have been two days old, they were pretty damn good after a few seconds in the microwave. Thinking about it now, the new donuts (GoNuts Donuts and company) all taste the same: lip-smack-me-good. With a few exceptions, I’d be hard pressed to tell one from the other, even if you threw a Krispy Kreme in there.
What people need to remember about donuts is that they’re an eat-it-now food. Donuts are best when you bite into them just seconds after they’ve leapt off the fryer and been glazed. That’s when they’re at their most glorious and delectable. Even your trip to and from the store affects their quality, such fragile circles of seduction they are.
When I was at Hoops Donuts, Mrs. Dolina showed me the difference between a fresh donut and one that had been preening behind the glass counter for a while. She took a knife and gently nudged the side of the fresher donut. It offered not a
breath of resistance, its fluffy sides gently caved in toward the center. The not-so-fresh donut on the other hand, was sturdier and hardly gave in to the knife’s pressure.
To get that characteristic fluffiness, donut dough must be stiff enough to be shaped, with enough moisture to give it that pillowy texture once it’s cooked. When the dough hits the oil, the heat surges through them causing them to swell. The superheated steam puffs them up to lightness before the outside hardens. The presence of air and gas bubbles generated by yeast or other leaveners also helps the process. This is very different from the donuts of Dunkin’ and its ilk, which is another procedure and ingredients altogether.
Why such a hubbub over fried pieces of bread dough? Because they’re fried, and the taste of crisp, crusty, fried food is incomparable. The texture? Unforgettable. Just look at my daughter, Boo.