Every time I hear or see the word Berliner, I think of JFK’s speech back in the 60’s where in he states to the citizens of Berlin “Ich bin ein Berliner” or in English: I am a jelly donut. Of course it was a valiant attempt to bond and be part of the crowd but the addition of one little three letter word “ein” changed the meaning completely. Which brings me to this month’s Saveur magazine. One first site of the front cover, I knew I was a gonner. Destined to attempt yet again some donut type treat. The gorgeous photo won me over instantly. I was ready to try try again. Now I haven’t attempted gluten free donuts per say but I have attempted churros twice and we’ve made beignets many times. Cake donuts hold no love for me, no, for me the yeasted gluten free donut is the holy grail and I’m on a pilgrimage. There were several yeasted donut recipes to choose from but the three that held my attention longest and repeatedly were the Berliner (perhaps as we just finished with the Paczki season), the Long John (as I love custard filling) or the vanilla glazed donut. Oddly each recipe for the dough was quite different from one another. I would have thought one dough fits all and I still do. So I made Berliner dough and figured I would stuff some with custard, some with jelly and cut the holes out of some and make your normal hole-y donut too.
You may consider this cheating, but for my flours I used a box of the King Arthur GF all purpose flour. Yes, it’s expensive and yes I could mix my own, but I thought I would try their mix.
I had high hopes. They have since fallen.
They were like deep fried bread with a glaze on it. Heavy and yeasty. Of course my yeast didn’t seem to be working at all so then I added more yeast and it still didn’t seem to be alive, so just a dash more. Uuups. The glaze I made is great. The custard I made is great. You can’t stuff enough custard in my donut to make it worthwhile. I choose to not waste my homemade blackberry jelly in them until I get better results, so no Berliner either. As soon as Saveur posts their recipe I will link to it, even though it was a fail. The only thing I did differently was add 1 tbs of xanthan gum as the gf flour mix I used doesn’t have any in it.
So I am currently repurposing the dough. It seemed like they might make good bagels or pretzels with the density of the dough. So I have added poppy seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, dried shallots, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. I put it in a warmish spot to rise. Then I boiled them briefly with a bit of sugar and baking soda and baked them for 30 minutes. Here’s the end result:
They look and taste a lot like a bagel but are flakey and tender, not what I am looking for in a bagel. Am I going to slather them with butter or cream cheese and eat them anyway? Yep.