My last allergy-free donuts, “Gluten Free Vegan Baked Cake Donuts“, really pleased my kids. This new recipe for Gluten-Free Vegan Yeast Donuts, really pleased my husband, Adam, who grew up working at flea markets every weekend in New York.
Adam took a bite and said they tasted just like Zeppole, the Italian-American ricotta cheese-based donuts. Luckily, my husband loves Zeppole, and thinks it’s pretty cool that I’ve replicated the flavor with absolutely no eggs, gluten (which he is intolerant to), or dairy (which he is allergic to). So let’s just call these Zeppole-Style Gluten-Free Vegan Yeast Donuts. Whoa, that’s a mouthful. Forget about saying it; just pop a donut hole in your mouth instead. Enjoy, and pretend you’re at a street fair, or flea market, or perhaps even an amusement park somewhere on a hot summer night.
FYI, I will continue working on donuts until they taste like a donut through and through. To me, gluten-free or not, a homemade donut should remind me of my grandmother’s kitchen. Look for the next incarnation of this recipe. And I’m still wondering, what kind of donuts do you like best? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Zeppole-Style Gluten-Free Vegan Donuts
Makes 12 donuts and 12 donut holes
Homemade donuts always remind me of state fairs, and my grandmother. These Gluten-Free Vegan fried donuts also remind me of Coney Island, and the celebration of Saint Joseph’s Day in NYC. Why? They are part donut, part zeppole. Get ’em while they’re hot!
- 1 (.25 oz) packet rapid rise yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 1/2 teaspoons for sprinkling on yeast
- 3 Tablespoons Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
- 1 Tablespoon flax seed meal mixed with 3 Tablespoons hot water (“flax egg”)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons warm rice milk (110F)
- 2 1/2 cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend, or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix (recipe follows)
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
- 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- canola oil for frying
- Cinnamon Sugar (1/4 cup of granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon ground cinammon)
- confectioners’ sugar (optional)
1. Combine warm water and yeast, mixing well. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar, mix, and set aside to proof the yeast, 10 minutes. It should foam.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining granulated sugar and the vegetable shortening, mixing on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Add the yeast mixture, the flax egg, and the rice milk. Mix until combined.
3. Measure out flour mix by spooning flour into a dry measuring cup, then leveling it off with a straightedge, or the back of a knife. (Do not scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup or you’ll wind up with too much flour for the recipe). Combine flour mix with xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Whisk well.
4. Add half flour mix to main bowl, mixing well on medium speed until combined, then add rest of flour mix; mix until dough balls in the center of the bowl. Don’t rush it. Use hands to pat dough into a smooth ball. If too sticky, sprinkle with a little flour mix until ball is round and smooth. Place back in bowl and cover with a kitchen towel; let rest 10 minutes.
5. Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with a little bit of flour mix. Place dough onto parchment, sprinkle with a tiny bit more flour mix and roll out to a 1/2-inch thick. Remove top sheet of parchment. Using a floured donut cutter, cut out donuts and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Flour the donut cutter before you make each cut. I use my fingers to poke the donut hole out of the center of the cutter if the dough sticks. Same thing with the donut. Just gently poke it out with your finger, coaxing it to drop onto the baking sheet. Flip. Don’t be shy about this; any finger indents will disappear in the donuts’ rise.
6. Once you’ve cut out as many donuts as possible, gather together the scraps of dough, mold together, and roll out to 1/2-inch thick again. Cut out remaining donuts. Cover donuts with a light kitchen towel, and place in unheated oven. Fill a large pan with boiling water and place on bottom of oven. Let donuts rise to twice their height, about 2 hours. They should be 1-inch high.
7. Fill a heavy flat-bottomed pan or pot 3 inches deep with canola oil. Heat to 350°F. (or if using a deep fryer, heat to 350°F). Using a greased slotted or regular spatula, slide donuts into hot oil. Cook 3 at a time. Cook until a lovely rich golden color, about 2-3 minutes, flipping them once.
8.Transfer to a cooling rack. Cook donut holes in batches of 6. Let oil come back to 350°F between batches for best results.
9. Either turn donuts in cinnamon sugar while still warm, to coat, or let cool to room temperature and place in a zip-lock bag with powdered sugar, and shake to coat.
10. Best when eaten fresh (like all donuts), or they can be frozen and then thawed on counter, on demand.
Zeppole-Style Gluten-Free Vegan Donuts
Copyright © 2010 by Cybele Pascal
Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
Makes 6 cups
The key to the very best gluten-free baked goods is Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour; it is the Cadillac, or cashmere, of brown rice flours and is worth its weight in gold. It is not grainy like other rice flours, and bakes the most fantastic cookies, cakes, pie crusts, and so on. If you can’t find it at your local natural foods market or Whole Foods, order it online. Both Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flours will also work in these recipes, but they won’t turn out quite as well. The brands of potato starch and tapioca flour or starch are not as important; I find them all interchangeable. (Please see Resources, page 177, of The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook for more information.)
- 4 cups superfine brown rice flour
- 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
- 2/3 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
1. To measure flour, use a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife or straightedge. Do not use the measuring cup itself to scoop your flour when measuring! It will compact the flour and you will wind up with too much for the recipe.
2. Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix recipe reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concernsbefore consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.
For more allergy-friendly donut recipes you might like, try:
Gluten Free Old Fashioned Donuts from The Baking Beauties
Gluten Free Baked Donuts from Gluten Free Goddess