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Making Better Donuts

No longer just a breakfast item, donuts are having their moment. 

Donuts have grown beyond their traditional role as a breakfast item found in quick-service restaurants. These tasty treats have now established a presence on brunch and dessert menus in full-service restaurants of all sizes. Pastry chefs have been instrumental in expanding the donut category, introducing innovative variations, such as apple cider donuts and beignets.

According to Dan Moats, a certified master baker and national account manager at Stratas Foods, donuts have evolved to the point where they practically constitute their own food group in the United States. “As a society, we consume a considerable amount of donuts, prompting even high-end restaurants to explore incorporating them into their menus,” Moats says. 

Creating delicious donuts requires more than just the right ingredients. The process also requires careful selection of the frying oil. While liquid oils are suitable for frying many foods, they are not ideal for donuts. As the donut cools, liquid oils can form an oily donut texture, and glazes will not adhere properly. Selecting frying oils providing a harder fat that sets up quickly on the donut is key for better glaze and topping adherence.

Depending on the intended donut application, there are various donut shortening choices with different oil blends and manufacturing processes to meet a restaurant’s needs. Moats emphasizes the importance for restaurant operators to first determine the type of donut they wish to create. For instance, those aiming to showcase a standalone premium donut should opt for a high-stability, premium shortening like Primex® Golden Flex Donut Fry Shortening. 

Additionally, effectively managing the shortening is crucial for prolonging its lifespan. In an era where cost management is critical to a restaurant’s profitability, this aspect of the process can determine how successful a donut program will be. Moats and his team concentrate on collaborating with operators to develop an oil management program that enhances the taste of the food, in this case, donuts, while simultaneously reducing costs by extending the shortening’s longevity.

“We often encounter restaurants where the staff tells us they go through frying oil quickly,” Moats reveals. “In such cases, we like to conduct a fry test to show our customers how using a quality donut shortening and learning proper oil management skills can significantly improve the fry life of their oil and quality of their product, improving their ROI.”

By prioritizing the selection of appropriate frying oils and implementing effective shortening management techniques, restaurants can elevate their donut offerings to satisfy customers while maximizing profitability. The donut revolution has expanded beyond traditional boundaries, paving the way for an exciting culinary landscape where these beloved pastries are embraced as versatile and indulgent delights. 

For more, visit StratasFoods.com