April 25, 2014

Perfect Pairing: Cider and Doughnuts

Cider and doughnuts aren’t just for autumn anymore. Craft cider is now a fashionable beverage, and doughnuts have gotten a makeover as well. With the arrival of the Cider Summit in Berkeley this week we went looking for the best local doughnuts, and surprise, surprise! They’re in Temescal! So let’s join one of our favorite East Bay Appetizer contributors, Charlotte Peale, for a visit to Doughnut Dolly.


A Naughty Morning Treat

Photos and story by Charlotte Peale



Above photo courtesy of Doughnut Dolly

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Peale except where noted differently.

Above photo courtesy of Kristina Sepetys

After my violin lesson on a recent spring morning, Mother and I were headed for Pizzaiolo, in the mood for some breakfast pastries, when we spotted a sidewalk sandwich board advertising “Doughnut Dolly” in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. Mother remembered that her friend Shelby had recommended the place for filled doughnuts, so we decided to stop in.

Tucked away in an alley off Telegraph Avenue, the small, cozy shop decorated with yellow-striped walls and black-and-white linoleum was packed with people waiting for their morning doughnuts and Catahoula coffee. The all-ages group included three police officers, and everyone seemed to feel as much excited anticipation as I did. While standing in line, I learned that Doughnut Dollies were women who served coffee and doughnuts to servicemen during World War I.

After much deliberation over the four fillings on offer, I ordered one doughnut with Pluot Jam and another with Naughty Cream, which sounded, well…you know. Mother was sure there was rum or other liquor involved. But it was just a smooth, rich vanilla pastry cream. Fillings change weekly and might include Mexican Chocolate, Nectarine Jam, Rose Chocolate, Apricot Jam, Banana Cream, or Dark Chocolate Mousse. I saw giant Mason jars filled with jams and preserves in shades of red, orange, and purple sitting on shelves, all made by INNA Jams of Emeryville and Kensington Marmalade Company, presumably destined for soft, airy doughnut centers.

After I choose one powdered and one granulated sugar doughnut, my fillings were piped into the pastries by a pleasant clerk using a metal contraption from Germany built for filling doughnuts. It was neat to see this important part of the process, usually invisible to buyers at most bakeries. Some people, more indecisive than I, requested combinations of fillings. The server asked parents of younger children whether they’d like her to pipe light on the filling. Most people ordered by the dozen or half dozen, carrying their sweet treasures in stiff cardboard boxes.

I carried out my two treats in crinkly white paper bags and sniffed hungrily at the sweet, yeasty confections. We decided to drive home directly instead of stopping at the wooden table and benches outside. But I couldn’t wait for the kitchen table and took the first bite of my Pluot Jam doughnut in the car. It tasted as good as it looked. My second bite reached the tart filling, and the deep red jam oozed out. Not even halfway home, I finished the Pluot Jam doughnut and tucked into the Naughty Cream. The pastry cream offered good vanilla flavor without being overpoweringly sweet.

The owner, Hannah Hoffman, is planning to open another Doughnut Dolly shop on Ninth and Gilman in Berkeley later this spring. Can’t wait.

 Doughnut Dolly
482 B 49th St., Oakland
Phone: 510.338.6738




Cider Summit in Portland

Cider Summit in Portland

Cider Summit
Saturday April 26, noon–6pm
Civic Center Park, Berkeley

The Cider Summit, a festival with roots in Seattle, is here in Berkeley. Organized by SBS Imports and the Seattle Beer Collective, this event offers the chance to sip 99 artisanal ciders from around the world. Guests can sample elegantly crafted cider in four-ounce portions, with owners and cider-makers on hand as guides. Tickets include a souvenir tasting glass and eight tasting tickets. Presented by Whole Foods Market, the Summit benefits the Berkeley Ecology Center and the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. Along with the cider, Whole Foods will offer food pairings, and the Berkeley Humane Society will host a “Dog Lounge.”

“We look forward to creating the region’s largest-ever sampling opportunity for both cider lovers and the cider curious,” says event co-founder Alan Shapiro of SBS Imports. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. The event is strictly age 21 and over. Info: click here

Mead making credit to Jessi Rymill

Mead Making Workshop
with William Bostwick
Sunday May 4, 11am–2pm
Homestead Apothecary, 486 49th St #C, Oakland

If you prefer to brew your own beverage, try your hand at making mead, also called honey wine. This workshop teaches the art and science of fermenting with honey and herbs. Students take home a custom-designed manual and a few choice bottles of the herb-infused brew. Samples include curious and rare varieties of this ancient drink, such as one made with bee venom. Instructor William Bostwick is a brewer, beekeeper, herbalist, and the beer critic for GQ and the Wall Street Journal. Cost is $75. Info: click here

Image courtesy of Jessi Rymill

Cider at Ardenwood_Jurek Zarzycki

The Hole Donut at
Ardenwood Historic Farm’s Country Kitchen

Saturday June 7 & 21, 1–2pm

Learn a little history about this punctured pastry, discover how to bake them in a woodstove, and play a donut game.  This is a drop-in program; no registration is required. Disabled accessible. Ardenwood admission fee applies.
Info: click here or 510.544.2797.

The photo above was taken at one of Ardenwood Historic Farm’s cider making events.  Photo courtesy of Jurek Zarzycki.

A Hole Bunch of Good Books
about Doughnuts!

Reviews by Kristina Sepetys

The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin by Michael Krondl
(Chicago Press Review, 2014, paperback)
One of the most recognized and beloved pastry treats, the doughnut dates back over 2000 years and can be found in a variety of jelly-covered, frosting-dipped, and sweetened forms throughout the world. In this delightful and toothsome guide to all things doughnut, Michael Krondl, culinary historian and chef, presents an entertaining history of the doughnut across time and cultures. Krondl also offers a mix of recipes and color photos of the more international varieties like Chocolate-Glazed Bismarcks with Marshmallow Filling, Nutella Bombolocini, Frittelle di Carnevale, and Dulce de Leche Raised Donuts with a Salty Caramel Glaze.

Homemade Doughnuts: Techniques and Recipes for Making Sublime Doughnuts in Your Home Kitchen by Kamal Grant
(Quarry Books, 2014)
Doughnut shop owner Kamal Grant shares step-by-step instructions for making creative, delicious doughnuts in your home kitchen. You’ll find simple, clear, well-photographed doughnut-making techniques, including rolling the dough, cutting, hand shaping, frying, and more. Experiment with dough formulas for yeast doughnuts, cake doughnuts, gluten-free, funnel cakes, fritters, biscuit-style doughnuts, and pie crusts to fry paired with a variety of creative glazes, ices, and fillings. Try the Tangy Orange Chocolate (yeast-raised), Kentucky’s Best (with bourbon icing and apple butter filling), or Nutty Buddies (with maple icing, almonds, and pecans).

Against all Grain by Danielle Walker
(Victory Belt Publishing, 2013)
Despite the flour and sugar, doughnuts need not be off-limits to those eating gluten-free or paleo. A self-trained chef who has successfully battled an autoimmune disease with the paleo diet, Danielle Walker offers recipes to tempt eaters of all stripes. Her innovative, accessible recipes (with beautiful accompanying photographs) include delicious, vibrant paleo food from appetizers to desserts. Walker has re-engineered many of her favorite comfort foods without grains, gluten, or dairy in her first cookbook. A special children’s section serves up amusing, wholesome dishes. Find recipes for Zucchini Bread, Vanilla-Almond Granola, Spiced Pumpkin Muffins, and many savory dishes.



To make use of all the beautiful spring berries in the markets, you could replace the freeze-dried strawberry finish with fresh berries stuffed in the doughnut hole or layered inside like a sandwich. -KS

Reprinted with permission of Danielle Walker from her website, Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat & Feel Gre

Strawberry Donuts 
(nut/grain/dairy/gluten/and refined sugar–free!)

Yields 1 dozen

strawberry donuts_2551-682x1024

For the donuts:
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee, melted
½ cup coconut milk, warm
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup coconut flour
¼ cup freeze dried strawberries, ground to a powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the topping:
1 ounce raw cacao butter, melted
2 tablespoons coconut butter
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup freeze dried strawberries, coarsely ground

Preheat a doughnut maker. If using a doughnut pan, preheat the oven to 350º and grease the pan liberally with butter. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the eggs with the coconut oil on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the milk, honey, vinegar, and vanilla and beat again until combined. Using a fine mesh sieve or sifter, sift the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl. Beat on high until smooth.

Scoop the batter into a large Ziploc bag, seal the top, and snip one of the bottom corners. Pipe the batter into the doughnut mold, filling it completely. Cook until the doughnut machine indicator light goes off. For the oven, bake for 17 minutes. Remove the doughnuts and cool on a wire rack. Trim if necessary.

To make the glaze, mix the cacao butter, coconut butter, and honey in a shallow bowl. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to thicken. Once the donuts are completely cooled, dip them in the glaze, then dip the tops in the ground-up strawberries. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to allow the glaze to set.

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Don’t forget, Friday, June 6 is National Doughnut Day, which began as an early wartime tradition and gave rise to Doughnut Dollies, the name first given to women who served coffee and doughnuts to service men during World War I.