There’s a new doughnut in town – and it promises to be different to all the rest. Paul Hurley, creator and founder of Dum Dum Doughnuts, has set out to create ‘the perfect doughnut’ without coming near a deep fryer. Despite my reservations against baked doughnuts I am intrigued enough to ask him some questions…
All images courtesy of Dum Dum doughnuts.
Tell me a little about yourself / your background and training.
I originally started working with doughnuts at the original UK Dunkin’ Donuts in the 1990’s. We had shops around central London and kiosks all over the south east. After breaking away we continued to supply major retailers across the UK with premium fried doughnuts while beginning the task of creating “The World’s best doughnut”. It’s a grand idea but it is at the heart of what we do.
As part of the journey I moved to France and Italy for several years while creating the baking process and creating Dum Dums.
My business partner and I also have an artisan commercial patisserie in Essex that produces bespoke deserts and pastries for some of the best restaurants in Essex and London.
Tell me a little about DumDum Doughnuts – what makes them different?
Dum Dum doughnuts are the first artisan, handmade baked doughnut made using all natural ingredients. We treat our doughnuts with the same precision and care as our patisserie products, which is where the idea of our “Donutteries” was created. Our doughnuts are also reduced in fat thanks to our unique baking process.
Baked doughnuts rarely taste doughnut-like (to me at least). How do you capture the fried ‘feel’ without actually frying them?
I agree. Unless a doughnut has the characteristics of a fried doughnut, it is not a doughnut. It is not simply putting dough in the oven or making a batter that is then put in a moulded baking tray or iron.
All fried doughnuts are deep-fried. They are floated in oil (usually a solid oil) through the whole cooking process. Unfortunately the doughnuts therefore absorb fat the whole way through cooking. The Dum Dums baking process recreates the frying process in the oven but controls how much oil is used. Therefore we can choose the fat content to create the perfect taste without having unnecessary excess fat. We could reduce the fat content a lot further but we think we have it perfect for taste.
The baked Dum Dum Doughnut is so unique that we have received a patent for the process.
Am I saving any calories by eating baked DumDums?
As we do not use premixes and make a lot of the icings and fillings ourselves we use less sugar than normal doughnut ingredients. For example we use a preserve instead of a sugary jam liquid. Another example is our Strawberry Icing that we add real strawberry puree to which is why it taste of strawberry and is pink.
What is your most popular flavour?
All of our doughnuts sell very evenly really. I would say that the Banoffee or the Crème Brûlée are most popular of the yeast raised doughnuts at the moment. “The Zebra” or Raspberry Crème are the most popular croissant doughnuts. My favourite at the moment is the Crème Brûlée with it’s real hard caramel on top.
I see you make a baked croissant doughnut – is that not just a croissant, shaped like a doughnut?
No, we also use the baking process for this so it has the benefit of the surface being seared by sunflower oil while also having the lightness thanks to the oven burst. They really are unique and amazing.