With 10 billion donuts consumed every year in the United States alone, one thing is certain: people love donuts. While there's always been a great debate as to whether cake or yeast-raised donuts are best, there's no denying that there's something special about the soft, slightly sweet dough of yeast donuts and their preparation.
Preparing yeast-raised donuts is as much a science as it is an art, involving specific ingredient formulations and processes to produce a quality product. These essential elements involve the quality & care of your yeast as well as taking measures to produce dough that is perfectly proofed.
The quality of ingredients greatly influences the outcome of the product. In yeast-raised donuts, the quality of the yeast is a critical element. We recommend a top-quality product such as SAF – Instant Gold, specifically formulated for doughs with sugars levels ranging from 4-30% (baker's percent). It has a reputation for consistency and is known for the quality of its baking performance.
As a living organism, yeast yields the best results by following the manufacturer's instructions carefully and creating the specific conditions in which it thrives. Taking care of your yeast is another key to creating the perfect yeast-raised doughnut. The care of your yeast involves every part of the donut-making process including how it is stored, mixed, proofed and fried. SAF – Instant Red yeast can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or freezer. Opened packs should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and used within seven days or three months if stored in the freezer. It is important to follow the production and expiration dates on the back of each vacuumed pack to ensure the best performance.
While all stages of the donut-making process can impact the performance of your yeast, one of the most critical stages, unique to this type of donut, is the proofing stage. While proofing, the yeast consumes sugar in the dough and releases carbon dioxide as a by-product of this fermentation. The release of this gas is what causes dough to rise and expand. Many factors can affect yeast during this stage including the duration of time, the temperature and humidity levels of the proofing process. The success of this phase is highly important because improper proofing can affect the final product's fat absorption, taste, texture and shape. Regulating these conditions and being consistent in your proofing process is important to ensure the yeast performs at its best time and time again.
Yeast is a critical ingredient to donut making. Placing the care & quality of your yeast as a priority while perfecting the proofing process are key components to developing yeast-raised donuts perfectly every time.
Further assistance is available to bakers looking to improve their formulas and techniques through the Lesaffre Yeast Corporation's Baking Center™. As a leading yeast manufacturer, Lesaffre offers these facilities and their professional baking technicians as essential partners for manufacturers, artisans and distributors in the baking industry. For more information about the services available from the Baking Center call their technical support line at 1 (414) 615-4994.