The bakers at Glazed Donut Works have been busy. We'll see the fruits of their labor this weekend, when the Deep Ellum doughnut shop debuts its rendition of the classic doughnut known as the "old-fashioned."
Frilly, crunchy, yet moist inside, the old-fashioned has unique "flowery" petals and provides a textural experience you don't get with a regular doughnut.
Co-owner Darren Cameron, who oversees the making of the doughnuts, says they've spent months developing the recipe. "An old-fashioned is probably my personal favorite doughnut," he says.
"Unlike a glazed doughnut that doesn't last, an old-fashioned gets better as it sets for a while," says co-owner Darren Cameron. "But it's difficult to get right."
In the pantheon of doughnuts, there are two basic types: cake, a firmer doughnut with a tighter texture, and raised, an airier concoction that's usually covered with a basic glaze, à la Krispy Kreme.
The old-fashioned is a spin-off of the cake, but instead of a perfect ring, it has a "broken," chunky appearance. It's the trademark doughnut of the Top Pot chain, which supplied Starbucks stores.
"It's a cake doughnut that is crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside," Cameron says. "It has all the craggy nooks, and it kind of 'flowers' out. And unlike a glazed doughnut that doesn't last, an old-fashioned gets better as it sets for a while. But it's difficult to get right."
Glazed's doughnuts have significantly improved as they've tweaked their recipes, rising times and frying techniques. Their glazes are potently fruity, and they've launched a vegan doughnut line in flavors such as pomegranate and chocolate-almond, so good that you can't tell they're any different.
Cameron credits baker Melissa Guerra, who came on board in October 2013.
"Melissa has not just improved our recipes, but she's also helped us grow what we offer," Cameron says. That includes her Irish Car Bomb invention, a chocolate raised doughnut with Guinness in the dough, Bailey's Irish Cream in the filling and a ganache icing spiked with Jameson Irish whiskey.
"She helped develop our cake doughnut recipe, and I think it's the best cake doughnut I've tasted anywhere," he says. The recipe has an unusual ingredient: mashed potatoes.
"It's part of the reason for our doughnuts' unique texture," he says. "We've had sales reps come and try to sell us on mixes. Most doughnut shops use a pre-made mix, and I understand why they do that. It saves on labor and it's a lot easier. But we don't use a mix, and I'm really pleased with the way we do things. I think it's good to be different."
That said, it puts them in the difficult position of having to educate customers on why what they're doing is better.
"One thing that happens, especially when we're open at night, is that we get some people who expect us to be Krispy Kreme or name-your-doughnut shop," he says. "While 95 percent of the people who come to our late-night window love what we do, we get customers who say, 'I just want a plain glazed doughnut.'"
Cameron has also received what he calls some "ugly emails."
"We explain that there's 900 shops in Dallas that serve a plain glazed doughnut, but we're not one of those shops," he says. "What we set out to do was not to make same doughnut you can get in Irving or down the street. We wanted something unique to us."