Time To Make The Doughnuts

Which is more difficult than you might think when your child is allergic to everything.

Who doesn’t love doughnuts? Kids love them as a post-soccer-game snack, and parents love to bring them for class parties. However, I came to dread doughnuts.

Don’t get me wrong, I love doughnuts as much as anyone. But my 7-year-old son, John, is severely allergic to dairy, peanuts, tree nuts and peas and would go into anaphylactic shock if he ever actually took a bite of one. A single bite is all it would take for his body to completely shut down. And for that reason alone, my obsession with doughnuts waned.

John’s not alone. Nearly 12 million Americans have food allergies, and 3 million of those are children. The numbers inexplicably keep rising every year. Most kids with food allergies have never tasted a doughnut and miss out on this simple pleasure of childhood. Since there is no cure for food allergies, I knew that I had to try to accomplish the impossible task of creating an allergen safe doughnut that tasted like the real thing.

I was already developing dairy, egg and nut-free recipes for my new cookbook, “The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book.” Some recipes were easier than others to get right. The Doughnut Recipe was by far the hardest. In fact, the multiple versions I tested were simply awful and resembled more of a
hockey puck than a delicious doughnut.

For weeks, I stood by my stove top with bottles of Crisco oil lined up on the counter. My heavy pot worked overtime as I rolled out new batches of dough. My apron was permanently splattered with oil and my hair developed a greasy sheen. My kitchen wasn’t a pretty sight—and neither was I for that matter.

One morning, the planets were in alignment, and I got the dough batter just right. After tasting the finished product, I knew this was a winner. I called my son into the kitchen and asked him to take a bite. He loved it and devoured the entire thing. I was in tears because it was a sight I never thought I’d see: My severely food allergic son happily and freely eating a doughnut. Finally my mission was accomplished; a perfect doughnut that kids everywhere could enjoy, whether they have food allergies or not.

Cook time: 1 – 2 minutes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 Doughnuts and 12 Holes

Ingredients for doughnuts:
Vegetable oil, for frying
3/4  cup unsweetened applesauce
2  tsp. vanilla extract
3/4  cup granulated sugar
3  Tbsp. dairy free margarine, melted
4 1/2  to 4 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1  tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2  tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1  cup soy or rice milk
Ingredients for cinnamon sugar, for rolling:
1/2  cup granulated sugar
2  tsp. ground cinnamon

1. In a large, heavy pot, heat 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil until a candy thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the applesauce, vanilla, and 3/4 cup sugar. Add the dairy free margarine, and mix well. In a spate medium bowl, combine the 4 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and salt with a wire whisk. Add the flour mixture and the soy milk alternatively to the applesauce-margarine mixture. Add more flour, if needed, to make a smooth and not-too-
sticky dough.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Knead for about 1 minute, and roll out to a1/2 -inch-thick circle. Dip a doughnut cutter into flour, and cut into the dough. Remove the trimmings and reroll, repeating the process.
4. Slide a few doughnuts into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until the doughnuts rise to the surface, about 2 minutes, and turn over with metal tongs to fry the other side. Doughnuts should be golden brown on both sides. Lift them out with metal tongs and drain on paper towels.
5. Mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Place the cinnamon-sugar mixture in a brown paper lunch bag. Place the warm doughnuts, one at a time, in the brown bag, and shake to coat. Shake off excess sugar, and place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate