The Fried Dough Thread.

Ignore the zeppole hater.

I wouldn’t throw a zeppole out of bed, but they pale in comparison to funnelcakes, with their diaphanous pull-apart lattice and unparalleled amount of exposed surface area allowing for a far greater crunch-factor. It’s just science. I am objectively correct.

The absolutely best part about my first job at the pizza place was saving all of the trimmings of the pizza dough and throwing them into the fryer at the end of the night.

No, we’ve been over this, beignets are better. But I’ve accepted that I can’t get a proper beignet in the Pacific NW.

Beignets obliterate zeppoles, without a doubt, as they are lighter and airier from the pate au choux. But funnel cakes are nigh ethereal in their lightness. Without their generous dusting of powdered sugar a gust of wind could lift them off that paper plate.

You and I are not eating the same funnel cakes.

Your local funnelcakemporium was probably frying them at too low a temperature, so they become leaden and greasy.

My local funnelcakeemporium is mainly street/summer fairs. Not a lot of upscale funnel cake shops that I’ve come across.

The lowest scale funnelcakevendor could fry at the proper temperature. They just don’t know what they’re doing!

Have you ever thought about going food truck? There’s a donut FT near me on the Eastside that seems to do good business. Might get past that whole “no coffee” thing that way.

edit: see if you can make the Everett Sunday market when it starts up again. It’s closer for me :)

When we lived in Tennessee years ago, there was a donut shop in Murfreesboro that made incredible donuts with potato flour. They were more dense than a typical donut, but in a good way. They were huge and weighed a ton, but damn were they good.

Good luck to you. Seems like it would be hard to stand out these days with all the specialty shops, but when you are serving em up hot and fresh at a farmer’s market without other competition, what other gimmick do you need?

Wish you success, those look delicious.

Thanks everybody!

@stusser and @divedivedive, you guys are great, and the reason I didn’t name this thread ‘Justin starts a new business’, heh.

@Misguided- the potato ones I made last week, I finally nailed the recipe how I want it. They shouldn’t be heavy, in fact they should be lighter than s normal cake donut- the starch replaces some of the flour, but it doesn’t have gluten, so lightens the whole thing up a bit. They were really nice.

This wasn’t a cake doughnut, it was a regular yeast, but made with potato flour. But your mention reminded me of it.

Oh sure, wait until we’ve moved back to the east coast from Seattle to let us know about this. ;) My husband absolutely adores hot, fresh donuts, by the way, and I guarantee we would have stopped by.

What do you use for frying at scale? My favorite industrial cooking product is the “Donut Robot Mk II”, because they’re cool and often visible at small scale donut plants (apple cider donuts at orchards, etc) and because they have a hilariously straightforward name.

No offense, but donut robots are the bane of my existence. I’m not really interested in mixing a batter together and pressing ‘go’. I’m not interested in automaton, really.

Now, I’m not completely against mechanical assistance- I do use a big industrial mixer for the dough, and I wish I had the $4k for a dough sheeter to make all the rolling and cutting go quicker.

I do have a super old-fashioned donut dropper- kind of like the little donut robot, but way bigger and with a hand crank. I think there’s a pic of it on my Instagram. I haven’t gotten it working yet, though- no time to test recipes for it.

I just want to say I admire your courage. Starting a small business and being an entrepreneur is pretty risky, and it takes guts. Good luck, and if I do ever go back to Seattle, hopefully I’ll get to try out your donuts.

Not at all, just wondering about your equipment. Do you have a deep frier or some other way to maintain the temperature automatically? Or do you just use a large pot of oil, and monitor the temperature manually?

Ah. I bought a couple propane deep fryers for the stall. I had been using a couple commercial electric ones for pop-ups I’d been doing here and there but the market doesn’t have electricity, so had to get new equipment.

These propane ones are way bigger, which has been nice when things get busy, but they’re a pain to load in and out every week. They’re not donut-specific fryers (which were twice the price), but really, it’s just keeping oil hot- as long as that works, you can work around everything else (a situation you get used to in the cooking industry). The other big problem with them is that they’re deeper than the ‘real’ donut fryers, which is one of the problems getting the dropper to work- I don’t want to drop batter from 8" above the oil, and to the device down near the oil I have to get a swing arm of some sort constructed. My brother welded together a makeshift thing, but it didn’t work so well, so we’re back to the drawing board on that.