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Author Notes: I have been experimenting with lots of different flours recently and given how much I have been using oat flour with great success, I figured I could not go too wrong in using breadcrumbs as a substitute for regular wheat flour.
Breadcrumbs are the kind of thing I always have in my kitchen but rarely use (so rarely I cannot even remember what we had bought our bag of breadcrumbs for). But, they are inexpensive (if you wanted to be really frugal you could even make your own breadcrumbs using some stale bread and a high speed food processor), and I had hoped that using breadcrumbs would be similar to baking with nut flours, a moist crumb with a bit of bite and, fortunately, that is exactly what I got. While breadcrumbs might not work well for batters that need to rest for a while (in which case the moisture would likely soften the breadcrumbs), for these baked donuts they are perfect.
Although breadcrumbs are pretty bland in their normal state, once they are combined with the rest of the ingredients in this recipe, your kitchen will basically start smelling like French toast. Once baked, these donuts have none of the dryness or ‘cakey’-ness (if that is even a word) some baked donut recipes produce – instead you have incredibly light and moist donuts with a bit of bite from the breadcrumbs that is quite similar to baking with nut flours or polenta. The muscovado sugar and the melted butter add a little bit of a toffee flavour which pairs beautifully with the breadcrumbs. But there is also a certain savoury-ness that is hard to pinpoint and I think that is what makes these donuts so delicious (and no doubt comes from the breadcrumbs).
While the donut recipe is my own, the glaze is a recipe I loosely adapted from one I found on Saveur's website (the proportions of ingredients were slightly different and Saveur uses cream rather than milk). —Sophia R
Makes 8 mini donuts or 4 regular sized donuts
For the donuts
- 2 egg whites
- 1 pinch of salt
- 40g light muscovado sugar
- 50g breadcrumbs, finely ground
- 60g melted butter
For the sea salt and maple glaze
- 60g icing sugar
- 15g maple syrup (ca. 1/2 tbsp)
- 7g milk
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons crushed walnuts
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. If you are not using a silicone donut pan, grease your donut pan.
- Whisk the egg whites together with the muscovado sugar and the pinch of salt until stiff and glossy.
- Add the breadcrumbs and melted butter to the bowl containing the beaten egg whites and carefully fold the breadcrumbs and butter into the egg white mixture being careful not to deflate it.
- Fill a pastry bag with the batter and carefully pipe into your donut mould. Smooth the top of each mould with the back of a wet spoon (to stop the batter from sticking to the spoon).
- Bake in the oven for ca. 15 minutes or until the tops of the donuts are golden-brown in colour and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the donuts comes out clean.
- Let donuts cool in the mould for a couple of minutes and then carefully invert them onto a serving plate.
- For the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar with the maple syrup, milk and the salt until the sugar is dissolved and there are no more lumps. Drizzle the donuts with the glaze and, if you want to, top each donuts with some crushed walnut chunks and scatter some sea salt flakes on top.Note: by all means these don’t have to be baked in a donut pan. While I have a scary number of different sized (and shaped!) baking trays, pie forms etc, buying an extra baking pan for a single recipe is quite silly. While you do need it if you want these to look like real donuts, you could easily bake them in a muffin tray or any other pan with small moulds you have.