Cake Donut Basics
1) Calculate the water temperature for a batter temperature of 72° to 75° F (22.2° to 23.9° C).
2) Measure the water volume according to the formula. Weigh the dry mix. Be precise with both measurements, don't estimate.
3) Select the mixing bowl for the batch size and match the paddle. To ensure proper mixing, put the water in first, then add the dry mix.
4) Set the time to one minute and mix at low speed. Mix for an additional two minutes at medium speed.
5) When mixing is complete, check the batter temperature. If you calculated the water temperature correctly, it should register between 72° and 76° F (22.2° and 24.4° C).
6) Let the batter rest for 10 to 15 minutes so that proper hydration can occur. (Hydration is the absorption of water by the particles of dry mix which promotes the leavening or gassing of the batter.)
7) While the batter is leavening, check the donut fryer temperature. It should be 375° F (190.5° C).
8) Put in a sufficient number of frying screens to bring the shortening level of the kettle within 2" to 3" (5.1 to 7.6 cm) above the top screen. Adjust the shortening level by adding shortening; or if the shortening level is too high, add enough screens to bring the top screen within 2" to 3" (5.1 to 7.6 cm) of the surface.
9) Check the depositor for cleanliness. Get the match plunger and sleeve from the storage area and check for nicks and other damage. Examine the "O" ring. Clean it if necessary. Replace it if it's worn. Install the plunger and sleeve in the depositor before filling the hopper with batter.
10) Check the deposit (donut weights) by setting the dial and cutting two donuts onto a small waxed tissue. Weigh them. Adjust the dial up or down to increase or decrease the weights and repeat the weighing procedure until the desired weight is attained. Check the bottom of the cutter. It should be 1½" to 2" (3.8 to 5.1 cm) above the frying shortening.
11) Cut the donuts by turning the handle, then systematically arrange them in the fryer by going back and forth in rows. If you turn them in the same order that you put them in the fryer, this will make the frying time for each donut the same. The batter will sink as it drops from the depositor and then it will surface with 5 to 8 seconds depending on the type of mix being used. This is called "rise time."
12) As the rings surface, check the break point. The break point is a crack that develops because the cutter action forms a weak, or stress, point in the batter. This point should be at, or slightly above, the shortening surface.
13) Fry the first side for 45 to 60 seconds and then turn the rings just before bubbles form in the center of the unfried portion of the donut. Ideally, the donuts should be turned just before bubbles appear. If bubbles start to form, you are waiting too long to turn the donuts.
14) Fry the second side for the same length of time as the first and when you turn the donuts, check the first side for a proper star formation. A star formation is a slight wrinkling, or drawing in, of the dough around the edge of the hole in the donut. When frying time is up, attach handles to the screen, remove from the fryer, and place the screen of donuts on the fryer extension to drain.
(Copyright © 1992 Dawn Food Products, Inc.)