Surprise family and friends with these gluten-free treats - The State Hornet: Features

Surprise family and friends with these gluten-free treats

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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:00 am

Gluten-free people will be surprised to find out gluten-free doughnuts can be just as good as regular doughnuts.

When I first tried a gluten-free doughnut, I thought it tasted better than a regular doughnut. Some people think gluten-free doughnuts will not taste or look the same as regular doughnuts because they lack gluten ingredients. It is not until they try a well made gluten-free doughnut, though, they will realize they were wrong.

I first thought making doughnuts would be a difficult activity because gluten-free baking is not always easy and you do not get the results you hope for. But to my surprise, I learned that gluten-free doughnuts are easy to make because it is just like baking any other pastry; it is not a difficult and it is fun to customize these round treats with different toppings and glazes.

Instead of white rice flour, I used gluten-free baking flour. Its consistency is similar to whole wheat flour and it works well in pastry and bread recipes. Gluten-free baking flour contains a blend of gluten-free flours including potato starch, tapioca flour. Instead of buying all these flours individually for $4 or more, you can get all of the flours in gluten-free baking flour for $3.99.

Xanthan gum is an important ingredient for gluten-free baking because it helps baked goods stay together and not crumble.

Most of the other ingredients can be easily found at any grocery stores. Gluten-free flours and xanthan gum can be found at stores such as Whole Foods, Raley’s and the Gluten Free Specialty in midtown Sacramento. The average prices for gluten-free flours range from $3-$10 and xanthan gum costs about $13 at most stores. This recipe is adapted from a recipe at Celiac.com.

Heat oil at 375 degrees in a deep pan.

Doughnut Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose gluten-free baking flour

2 tablespoons soy flour

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

½ cup milk

Add of all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix with a wire whisk. Then add wet ingredients to the bowl and mix with the whisk until dough forms.

When I first made this, the dough came out messy, sticky and it was extremely hard to work with.

Sprinkle gluten-free baking flour onto a surface and place the dough on the surface. Roll 20 pieces of dough into a ball and cover with flour. This makes it easier because you use extra flour to make the dough stay together before you cut the doughnuts.

With a doughnut cutter, cut the dough and place a doughnut slice on a spatula. The dough may stick to the doughnut cutter – if this happens lightly tap the cutter onto the spatula and the dough will slip out of the cutter.

If you do not have a doughnut cutter, take a piece of dough and roll into a doughnut shape. It may take some practice to get it right but patience is key.

Slide the doughnut in the pan and fry each side for 2 minutes.

Place doughnuts on a cookie sheet with paper towels to cool. Let the doughnuts cool for 1-2 minutes and dip them in cooled margarita or hot chocolate glaze (recipe below).

When it comes to doughnut glazes, there are many to choose from, especially if you look on the Internet. The margarita glaze recipe from "Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home" by Lara Ferroni is a great glaze for doughnuts.

Margarita Glaze:

1 teaspoon of freshly grated lime zest

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon tequila

Sift the confectioners’ sugar in a sizable bowl that is large enough so you will be able to dip the donuts in.

Stir in the lime juice and tequila until the glaze is smooth. Dip each cooled doughnut into the glaze and place on a wire rack to dry.

This glaze makes the doughnut taste sweet and tangy like a margarita, which makes it a different doughnut from all the others.

Hot Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons hot cocoa powder

¼ cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

This recipe is a simple chocolate glaze from “Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home” by Lara Ferroni; I decided to change it by adding hot cocoa power to give a sweeter, more delectable taste. Instead of using regular cocoa powder, I used Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate mix.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl large enough to dip the doughnuts in. Add the milk and vanilla into the bowl and mix until you get a nice smooth glaze.

If you feel that the mixture is too thick then add more milk; I added in 1/4 cup of milk to the mixture.

Dip each cooled doughnut into the glaze and then garnish with sprinkles if desired. Place on a wire rack to dry.

Some sprinkles are not gluten-free, and I recommend purchasing brands like Cake Mate and Betty Crocker because they make gluten-free sprinkles. I used Cake Mate rainbow sprinkles as decoration for my chocolate-glazed doughnuts.

The best way to keep these doughnuts fresh is to put them in a freezer bag and then into the freezer. That way you can be sure your gluten-free doughnuts stay fresh and will not go bad too quickly. When you're craving a doughnut, take one out of the freezer and warm it up in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.

This doughnut recipe can be a fun activity for anyone – gluten-free or not – and your friends will probably never be able to tell they are gluten-free.

Brittany Lambert can be reached at features@statehornet.com 

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