I went vegan over four years ago. Although I don’t ever recall being particularly deprived throughout, or ever in, those four years. That is four years without certain foods…including your typical animal-product laden doughnut. Did you know that Canadians consume the most amount of doughnuts per capita? And that Canada also has the largest number of doughnut shops per capita? That would mean that for four years, this Canadian girl has been deprived of a national symbol. Check that, national treasure. The doughnut.
Last weekend, I decided to correct this indecency by using a vegan brunch potluck as an opportunity to try to make myself some doughnuts. And perhaps some “timbits” while I’m at it (doughnut holes for those readers who are not Canadian). I found two recipes that looked good and on a hot, steamy Saturday night, I fried up some doughnuts.
For the regular doughnuts I used this recipe, except I used soy yogurt as a replacer (1/4 cup) and rolled them in sugar rather than making a glaze. They were fantastic, and were definitely the horrible for you but so, so, so good doughnuts of my pre-vegan days.
For the “timbits,” I used this recipe. They were also very good, a bit denser than the regular guys but still quite tasty. My father said that they tasted just like a “burlington bun” which is something I had never heard of so I had to look it up. Apparently a burlington bun is the Nova Scotian term for a jelly doughnut. There’s even a facebook group to bring it back! Other parts of the world may refer to them as “berliners” or Manitobians call them “jambusters”! Interesting! I love local food history!
Things I discovered while making doughnuts:
* Use a candy thermometer. Seriously, go get one if you plan on making doughnuts or anything that needs to be deepfried. I was a bit nervous about my skills in the frying department, but since I used a thermometer, I knew exactly what temperature the oil was at all times and I didn’t burn or undercook a single doughnut! Plus, they’re like 3 bucks.
* Don’t use paper towels for draining the oil. That’s what a lot of people suggest but I had some issues with sticking…I’d have to be really quick not to let them drain much longer than 20 seconds or they’d start sticking to the towels. Next time I’m going to try using paper bags instead.
* Go get a real pastry bag for filling the donuts. I used a plastic baggie and it was pretty tough since they’re so flimsy. Don’t do what I did, use a real pastry bag.
So yeah, this post isn’t really about being vegan in Halifax (although see what I did earlier up there? Threw in a little Nova Scotian connection?) but I thought it was a good little intro to myself while I write up some real Halifax posts. Plus you get to learn about two great recipes! I think I will be doing this periodically, sharing recipes I like or maybe reviewing cookbooks or other books that I’ve been reading. It will be fun I think and keep the blog interesting. What do you all think?