Practice and repetition are essential in evolving and fine tuning a process. Since we debuted the curiosity cruller several weeks ago we have created a growing fan base. On the production side I have been slow as molasses. My original process was to make the dough, chill the dough, let the dough come back to room-ish temperature. Then I would put the dough into a piping bag and pipe 4 doughnuts at a time onto sheets of cut parchment paper. I place the doughnuts into the fryer at 375°F and fried the doughnuts for 2 minutes. I removed the paper and fried the doughnuts for an additional 2 minutes. Finally I flipped the doughnuts and fried them for 1 minute more. I drained the crullers on a rack and dipped them in our vanilla glaze while they are still hot. I repeated the slow process. This was a tedious path to an ethereal result. I needed to improve my process.
I looked at my steps and realized I was being repetitious. I utilized the fact that the dough became firm when it was cold to allow me to handle it. To improve my process I took the warm dough and piped it onto parchment lined sheet pans that I sprayed with pan release. I cooled the dough and wrapped them in plastic wrap. When I was ready to fry the doughnuts I lifted them off the parchment and slid them into the fryer, still using my same frying times. The dough had firmed up and was easily handled when it was cold. I could lift the rings and place them easily into the fryer. I was also able to get a full dozen doughnuts into the fryer, not having to worry about pieces of parchment paper.
The resulting doughnuts were more consistent in size and shape. I was able to deliver full trays of the crullers to a wanting audience rather than dribbling out 4 at a time. Now I need to see how many crullers our audience can consume.
January 12, 2005