Monday, September 17, 2012

Jelly Buns a New York Institution

The Monday Nut:

This weekend I took a trip through upstate NY on the Harley , fortunately the weather was beautiful. I waited for the rain to abate on Saturday and took off for my adventure. It was a beautiful start, the sun came out, the wind whipped through my helmet and I could feel my muscles relaxing in to the rhythm of the bike; serenity.

Although the weather was perfect for a ride the one facet of motorcycle riding that most lay people would not always consider is temperature, the longer and later you ride the cooler it gets; this Saturday was no exception. To be perfectly blunt, when I am riding, I hate the cold. I love whizzing down the road but lack of feeling in my hands, is not high on the fun scale. Fortunately for you and I, my hands went completely numb just off route 90 outside of Little Falls, NY; home of everyones favorite little tea bag Salada. "That's Salada tea!" As the ad used to go. As much know for their tasty tea as their witty quips on the tea bag label, I have kept one for the better part of 30 years that says "Beer in a water bed makes a foam mattress", the company that created it, Redco Foods, Inc, still calls Little Falls home and is a constant reminder of American manufacturing; but I just digressed.

As it happens there is one other institution that also calls Little Falls home which donut aficionados around the country will be happy to visit, even with numb hands, The White Rose Bakery.  Like many of the best small town shops if a local had not told me where it was I would have passed right by it.

The White Rose Bakery is nestled in a non-descript "old-timey" sidewalk of shops that line main street in a one-way traffic flow. Look to the right quickly before coming to the intersection of N. Ann St. and there it is. Wait one second too long and you'll miss it. Once inside you'll be glad you found this 30+ year old neighborhood institution. Not only are their prices better than anywhere I have yet to visit, $.50 a donut, $.40 a cider donut; I got a coffee and 2 donuts for $1.80!, but the friendly staff, welcoming smells of breads, cookies, pastry, and of course donuts cause the line of familiar patrons to form fast, sometimes cycling through twice. OK, that was just me.

On to the donuts. I consider myself a "Jelly Donut Aficionado", but I am surprised to say the White Rose had something extra special in store for me; the Jelly Bun, an Upstate staple. It might seem harmless enough, sitting quietly, football-shaped, poised and ready....take a bite and then - BAM!!  a virtual Jelly Explosion!!! The folks at the White Rose have taken the best parts of a bun, the crispy outside and soft chewy middle, and mated that with the best part of a Jelly Donut - the jelly! If only I had had a trailer I would have ordered a dozen and then promptly eaten then all. I refrained. So the next time you find yourself whizzing down Route 90 in Upstate NY and having craving for donuts, or tea for that matter, go visit the friendly folks at The White Rose Bakery....and bring back a jelly bun for me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Donut Savant - wow me with flavors!!

The Friday Nut :

It never ceases to amaze me how innovators will find a way to change the "normal everyday" and make it amazing, sophisticated and sublime; fortunately Donuts are finally having their day. As I have mentioned in previous posts the underground artistry of donuts has been hitting the main streets and mainstream in the last few years and shops, such as Donut Savant, Oakland, CA, are no exception.

The Chocolate Bomb

Direct from Thrilllist, "The greatest donut-vention since the hole in the middle, the holy-crap-it's-real Chocolate Bomb from just-opened Donut Savant's a dark chocolate cake ring that's filled with an Irish whiskey ganache, then topped with a Guinness and Bailey's glaze. Uh huh."

Fortunately I don't live close enough or I would be dropping these bombs on everyone I know. But, for those of you who do in habit the general area of:
1934 Broadway, btwn 19th and 20th; Oakland, CA; I suggest you stop
 by and send us pictures of your own aftermath!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What ingredients are in a donut?

The Wednesday Nut:

I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend holiday with family, friends and of course good donuts; I did. As I sat with coffee in hand devouring a scrumptious little nut, I starting thinking about donut recipes and just how easy it would be to whip up some homemade donuts from scratch. That would mean I would have to know exactly what makes up your average donut, hence today's topic; The Basic Glazed.

Much like a chocolate chip cookie recipe is made up of chocolate chips and shall we say "cookie material" the basic glazed donut recipe consists of much the same, a basic glaze and "donut material". It just so happens that this "donut material" is the foundation for all yeast raised donuts and is an excellent jumping off point for the most creative of bakers. With that in mind you will find the basic building blocks of all raised donuts, as well as instructions to bake them below.


* 3/4 cup scalded milk
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
* 1/4 cup warm water
* 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
* 1/3 cup butter or margarine
* 2 eggs, beaten
* oil for deep frying
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 6 tablespoons milk


1. In a medium bowl, stir together the scalded milk, sugar, and salt. Set aside to cool until tepid. If using nutmeg, stir it into the flour, and add 2 cups of the mixture to the milk, and beat until well blended.
2. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Stir into the milk and flour mixture, then mix in the butter and eggs. Mix in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. When dough is firm enough, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead for 3 to 4 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl, cover and allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk. This should take 30 to 45 minutes.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/2 inch in thickness. Cut into circles using a donut cutter, or round cutter. Set aside to rise for 30 to 40 minutes, or until light.
4. Heat one inch of oil in a deep heavy frying pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry donuts a few at a time. Cook on each side until golden brown, then remove to drain on paper towels. Glaze while warm, or just sprinkle with sugar.
5. To make the glaze, stir together the confectioners' sugar and 6 tablespoons milk until smooth. Dip warm donuts into glaze, and set aside to cool.