Monday, December 10, 2012

Gluten-Free Yeast Donuts

Today I made donuts for my senior research seminar in American history.  Nothing takes the edge off having to present your research like some deep fried dough.  One of my students cannot have gluten so I ventured yet again into the world of yeasted but gluten-free dough.  After hunting around the interwebs, I settled on this recipe.  I liked that the main ingredients were weighed (more accurate), and the chemistry of the recipe made sense to me (baking soda and apple cider vinegar are standards in vegan baking).  It also seemed pretty easy to veganize.

So, here is what I did:
1. All-purpose flour: the recipe calls for Better Batter brand, which I do not have access to here.  Looking over the ingredient list I saw it it made of: Rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and potato four.  So, I made a mix of 1 cup rice flour, 3/4 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 2 tbsp potato starch, and 2 tbsp potato flour.  You can make up your own mix since it is the xanthan gum that binds everything together.
2. I used 2 tsbp vegan cream cheese for the egg, blending it into the milk mixture.  You could also use whizzed silken tofu.  Another time I might try ground chia seeds blended with some water.
3. I replaced the egg white with Ener-G "egg whites" as per the instructions on the box.  You might be able to omit this altogether, but I thought it might help the donuts rise a bit more.
4. I used vegetable shortening instead of unsalted butter.
5. I mixed the dough by hand and glazed them with this glaze.

The amazing thing about these donuts is that they actually do rise.  Not as high as a glutinous donut, but not too bad.  Also on the plus side is that they do not absorb much oil at all when deep fried.  They resemble an old-fashioned donut (i.e those cake-like ones) and aren't too dense.