Daring Bakers October: Doughnuts

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I have to admit I was not as enthused as many going into this Daring Bakers. Having grown up in Australia where a doughnut was a rare treat rather than a food group like it is in my adopted country, Canada, they simply are not in my food culture. Plus, now I realise what we used to eat as a rare treat is nothing like a good doughnut.  But I still don’t like them. I don’t even much like churros for that matter.  Perhaps I am missing an enzyme, like those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap, because to me, doughnuts mostly taste like greasy sponges.

Knowing I was never going to be able to replicate the gorgeous-looking beignets we ate in New Orleans earlier this year (even there, one was definitely enough and the fried taste was lavishly hidden by the tons of icing sugar they coat them in), I decided to go all Canadian on you and make my own version of Timbits (doughnut holes to those of you not from Canada). Modelled on the super glazed with tons of sprinkles ones we had as kids from Balfour’s in Adelaide.  This way, I wouldn’t have a lot of them to trial and it didn’t feel so wasteful, since I knew I probably wouldn’t eat (m)any. I mainly did this challenge for the technique and any time I get to practice with yeast recipes, it’s a good thing. I need the practice.

I actually followed Lara Ferroni’s recipe that I found on the Sophisticated Gourmet just perchance last week. Those doughnuts with that glaze were exactly what I had in mind, only smaller, bite sized ones…

I did my thing with the yeast…

And improvised the cutter by using a shot measure… (as you do)

As I was letting them rest, I realised that I probably should have rolled my dough a bit thicker…

I ended up rolling these into small balls so they would puff up in the right shape when fried. Oh, and I lost a fair few when I fried them – couldn’t keep my oil temperature constant.

Decorating was  a tad messy…

But I ended up with exactly what I had in mind:

And how did they taste?

Since I am only a novice doughnut eater, I made Neil taste them. “It’s a Timbit” was his response. Normally I would hit the roof if Neil compared my baked goods to ones from Tim Horton’s (a place I am only likely to frequent if I am truly keeling over with hunger or thirst) but this was the correct response this time. Even I admit that it tasted like a Timbit. So, success?  Technique-wise, yes, I suppose so. But I am still not a fan…

Thanks Lori for a challenge that helped me face two of my nemeses – yeast and deep-frying! Not sure I would do it again but I am glad I can check this off the list!

** Did you know? Jamie Oliver is speaking in Toronto on November 18th.  Thanks to The Art of Cooking, I am able to offer a discount to you, my readers, of $10 per ticket (more if you purchase more than 5 tickets).  Click here for the special promotion code to be applied to your ticket price.  Don’t miss this event – I saw Jamie speak last year and it was inspirational to say the least. It inspired me to start Les Petits Chefs, for one…

One more thing –  I made it to Round 6 of Project Food Blog!  I would love your vote to move on to Round 7, where we have to make a recipe come alive through video.  Simply click here to vote. You have to be a Foodbuzz member to vote but it’s a simple sign-up process. Once you’re signed up, click the red heart to vote.  Thanks in advance. Many thanks for your continued support.

73 Responses to Daring Bakers October: Doughnuts

  1. Marisa October 27, 2010 at 05:51 #

    I’m also not a big donut fan (perhaps we’re missing the same gene?) but TheHusband is a veritable donut slut. I love how tiny these are – very cute.

  2. notyet100 October 27, 2010 at 06:04 #

    yum thy look,,,thnks for the virtual treat

  3. Jamie October 27, 2010 at 06:14 #

    Wow, this challenge brought all the donut haters out of the woodwork! I adore donuts, all of them, and gorge on them whenever I’m in the US. I love your donut holes! Love them! Love the frosting and sprinkles and think that a plateful of these would be so easy to pop into my mouth one after the next.

  4. Jenn October 27, 2010 at 06:26 #

    They look great! Ha I never knew Canadians called them Timbits, I’m sure that will catch on with Tim Hortons popping up everywhere in the US too…. Love all the bright colors 🙂

  5. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen October 27, 2010 at 06:38 #

    Way to conquer your fears! Growing up with Tim Hortons I think that it was a compliment saying it tasted like a Timbit! Nice work on this months challenge.

  6. Winnie October 27, 2010 at 06:58 #

    I am not a donut person either, but I think yours look delicious, Mardi!

  7. Daydreamer Desserts October 27, 2010 at 07:04 #

    I think your Timbits (donut holes) turned out beautifully, way to embrace this months challenge Mardi. 🙂

  8. The Dainty Apron October 27, 2010 at 07:18 #

    I think they look super yummy. I really enjoyed reading your post 🙂 I commend you for making them even if your missing the doughnut gene! I really enjoyed my bomboloni….guess I have the gene!

  9. penny aka jeroxie October 27, 2010 at 07:25 #

    love donuts but not the deep frying. Good on you for trying.

  10. Shelley C October 27, 2010 at 08:23 #

    I am so glad that you decided to go ahead with the challenge, even though you aren’t a donut fan. Your completed donuts look beautiful (LOVE the sprinkles!) and delicious, and it sounds like they came out perfectly! Great job.

  11. Laura October 27, 2010 at 08:34 #

    These look adorable and delicious! I love sprinkled donut holes – they’re the perfect pop-able treat. Can’t wait to try Lara’s recipe for myself! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Mindy October 27, 2010 at 09:22 #

    You must be missing at least some of the Canadian gene to not love Tim Horton’s! But I guess that makes sense- I spent time in Australia, and I NEVER developed a taste for vegemite or marmite!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 28, 2010 at 08:08 #

      Errr, Marmite is NOT Australian. And I am only Canadian in that I have a passport. I am missing a lot of the Canadian genes (like the hockey loving one) 😉

  13. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz October 27, 2010 at 10:17 #

    Well glad you succeeded even if not a fan. Love the comment how normally you would hit the roof but not in this case lol.

  14. RavieNomNoms October 27, 2010 at 10:28 #

    You did a great job even though you aren’t a big supporter of doughnuts. They are super cute!

  15. Barbara Bakes October 27, 2010 at 10:31 #

    I just don’t understand not loving donuts. Send them down to me, we’ll finish them off for you! Good luck in this round! Voted!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 28, 2010 at 08:07 #

      Well I am sure there are many Australian things you would have a hard time getting your head (and mouth!) around too! 😉 It’s all about what you grew up with.

  16. deeba October 27, 2010 at 10:41 #

    Love ’em timbits Mardi, and love the sprinkles. Well done on the challenge!

  17. jana @ cherryteacakes October 27, 2010 at 11:10 #

    i love your donut holes! so cute! such a great job on this challenge!

  18. Laura October 27, 2010 at 11:31 #


  19. stacy October 27, 2010 at 13:23 #

    Oh, those colors are so beautiful, and your pictures are fabulous! I’m not a donut fan either, but now I want to try a Timbit!!

  20. Paula October 27, 2010 at 14:23 #

    This challenge has created so many wonderful posts on donuts and I love that you made donut bites. The fact that you were told they taste like *Timbits* is a great compliment. They are so colourful with the sprinkles.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 28, 2010 at 08:06 #

      Yes, normally would not be too happy to have my baking compared to Timmie’s but this time around, yes!

  21. Belinda @zomppa October 27, 2010 at 14:26 #

    I’m happy to taste test for you. These are too adorable!

  22. Simone October 27, 2010 at 14:43 #

    Even though you’re not a doughnut fan, your donut bites came out looking lovely!

  23. Kim October 27, 2010 at 15:28 #

    Too bad that you aren’t a big doughnut fan, but then again we can’t all like everything there is out there to eat, right! I like your doughnut holes (or Timbits) look very cute and colorful. Nice job on the challenge!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 28, 2010 at 08:05 #

      It’s actually JUST AS WELL I am not a donut fan otherwise I might be the size of a house!!!

  24. Nancy@acommunaltable October 27, 2010 at 16:09 #

    Your donut holes look wonderful and I am sure they were better than the Horton’s version!!! Kudos to you for making something you weren’t too crazy about!

  25. Heather Lynne October 27, 2010 at 18:22 #

    These look awesome!

  26. Anna Johnston October 27, 2010 at 20:28 #

    They do look pretty neat though, you’ve gotta admit that 😉

  27. Christine October 27, 2010 at 22:23 #

    I told my husband about this post and his response was, “I want Timbits!” We only eat them once a year when we visit Canada and we do enjoy them.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 28, 2010 at 08:04 #

      See I live here and probably have one Timbit a year (at a conference if I am really hungry)!

  28. Letizia Golosa October 28, 2010 at 00:24 #

    So cute! I’m sure kids would love to help make these

  29. Renata October 28, 2010 at 08:57 #

    Your bite sized chocolate glazed doughnuts with those sprinkles reminded me of the very Brazilian “brigadeiros” which have nothing to do with doughnuts, but look exactly like these! They look absolutely delicious!

  30. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction October 28, 2010 at 19:18 #

    Yay! Good job on tackling both yeast and frying doughnuts… I think they look great!

  31. Tracy October 28, 2010 at 23:01 #

    These are so pretty! Great job on the challenge!

  32. Megan Gordon October 29, 2010 at 00:32 #

    Love the way you improvised, Mardi! How are you a “novice donut eater”?!? Don’t love them? I have to stay away from them. As I tell my friends here, it brings out the fat girl in me. This is one of those posts that makes me wish I was still doing Daring Bakers…

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 29, 2010 at 19:24 #

      Just didn’t grow up with them so it’s not in my food culture I guess… I wish you were doing DB too – I would love to see what you create each month!

  33. LimeCake October 29, 2010 at 01:01 #

    really, really delicious looking doughnuts! good job!

  34. Conor @ Hold the Beef October 29, 2010 at 04:17 #

    I’ve never been a doughnut fan either but recently I have seen the light (through the sheen of a greasy paper bag). There is a place in Freo/Perth that makes organic doughnuts, including chocolate filled ones, and they are amazing. They often have a little stall at music festivals or markets, and have even started selling right near where I usually sit at the football. There is no escaping. No wonder my winter weight gain was a little more pronounced this year. It’s not my fault.

    I LOVE your use of 100s and 1000s with these. Brava 😀

  35. Catalina October 29, 2010 at 04:56 #

    Oh, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like them. I grew up in a country where doughnuts were everywhere and I love them, so it’s probably because it wasn’t part of your childhood. Anyway, they DO look beautifully – so colorful and cute 🙂

  36. HappyWhenNotHungry October 29, 2010 at 10:37 #

    These look amazing! Your photos are awesome too. Def have to try these. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  37. Adelina October 29, 2010 at 12:22 #

    These look heavenly and just so cuuuute! I wish I have the patience to bake.

  38. Jason Phelps October 31, 2010 at 20:37 #

    Are the pictures edible?


  39. cat November 5, 2010 at 17:14 #

    oh, i love the nickname in the first commenter’s post . . . i believe steve might well be called a doughnut slut as well. i know full well that when we has work on the east side of the state, he loves going to get a multipack of timbits at the drive through, something he can’t indulge in over here in tim horton-less west michigan. and they do indeed look exactly like timbits – well done!


  1. Tweets that mention Daring Bakers October: Doughnuts -- Topsy.com - October 27, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jamie Schler and Mardi, Mardi. Mardi said: Daring Bakers October: #Doughnuts http://goo.gl/fb/hdcGk #daringbakers #dessert #eat #recipes […]

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