We have been chasing doughnuts as we gear up to start Curiosity Doughnuts. We have an amazing recipe for doughnuts in Maximum Flavor. We opted to leave it on the shelf and start from scratch. We had the taste memory of these amazing doughnuts driving us forward. We were looking to create something better than our original. We made a ton of doughnuts. We altered fats, dairy, salt, sugar, yeast, flour and flavorings. Every fry brought us closer to and farther away from the doughnut grail.
Today we went back to our book and made the Maximum Flavor doughnuts. We gave the recipe a few tweaks based on our recent experiences. We increased the yeast in the no-knead doughnuts. It turns out no-knead doughnuts come together quite nicely when beaten in a stand mixer with a paddle to blend the ingredients. We shortened our leavening time. We added vanilla paste. We used buttermilk in place of milk and water. I didn't adjust the salt. The salt amount looked high compared to the levels we used in our doughnut trials. I didn't listen to my instinct. After mixing and tasting the dough, it seemed salty. We followed the normal rising and folding procedures, on an abbreviated schedule due to the increased yeast. We rolled out the dough and fried the doughnuts.
We tasted a single doughnut before we rolled it in strawberry sugar. It tasted salty. Once coated in strawberry sugar the salinity was masked. If we concentrated we could still taste the salt, heavily obscured by strawberry sugar. The doughnuts were otherwise awesome. We were back to where we started. We would not have made such great progress had we not had a flavor memory to try and surpass. And in the process we created a doughnut better than the original.
If you were going to modify the Maximum Flavor doughnuts, cut the salt to 9 grams, increase the yeast to 14 grams, add 10 grams of vanilla paste, and use buttermilk in place of the milk and water. Mix the dough by hand or in a stand mixer. Let the dough rise for an hour, then fold it and let it rise for another 1.5 hours. The dough can be rolled and fried or refrigerated, rolled and fried within a few days.