Friday, September 9, 2011

The Not-So-Yummy Baked Donut Base

I wasn’t even certain I’d be attempting this month’s Gluten Free Ratio Rally, but I’m glad I at least tried. Not that I had this magical awe-inspiring baking moment where even the Universe had to bow its head to my genius or anything, but if you have been reading the last few entries you’d know that it’s been a hell of an August. 

So what, a flop of a baked doughnut recipe? I can live with that.

Looking back, I realize that my statement of this being the summer that I grew into myself was indeed correct. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that one little sentence was like that one fortune cookie at the table that heeded warning and provided decent advice. In less than a month I lost my footing of where I thought I’d be at this point. It is now September, and northern Virginia is already experiencing the changes autumn brings. I lost a great deal of what I thought was important to me, including people I thought were my friends and a type stability I thought I’d have. I’m having to face a lot of Big Girl Problems, and I don’t think I’d ever been so angry or so upset as I have been these last three weeks. 

The answer to my less than ideal situation came like a gust of wind after a summer rainstorm. I did possibly the best thing I could do for myself; I took myself out of the equation. 

To put it simply, I quit. (Thank you, Andy Shallal, for your wisdom last semester.)

I stopped looking into apartments after the house fell through. I stopped focusing on the people who believed my actions to be a direct link to my character and trustworthiness as a person. I stopped trying to shape myself in the way people wanted me to be in their lives. I stopped censoring my honesty because of the panics and fears that I may in fact offend someone and be punished for speaking my truths. And feeling like I could struggle no further in the sand dunes, from which the totality of my foundation fell, I began to see things differently. Upon much reflection and even more tears, the silence that was forced upon me was lifted, and I haven’t stopped speaking.

Whatever negative backlash was sent my way by evil eye or social media never came, and yesterday I felt a sense of peace and strength I thought would never return. Life’s positive struggles didn’t produce feelings such as vulnerability and fragility, so it was apparent that this was not a positive experience. 

The first week of the semester went by in a blur of information and emotions, and all my worrying had me running from one moment to the next, enjoying very little of it. Here I was, in my last semester as an undergraduate, and I was using my time and energy focusing on other people and their wellbeing before my own. My struggles were rooted in things I couldn’t control, worrying about people whose opinions didn’t matter, and realizing that I was trying to fix what couldn’t or shouldn’t be fixed, I let it all go and my time and attention went to things deserving of my focus.

So, despite this recipe being a total flop that one bite was hard to swallow, I am so happy be moving on. In a few days I will try again, even though I missed this month’s GFRR deadline. September promises a fun month of baking, and the next one will be epic.

In the mean time, I heartily recommend you check out the other participants’ entries for their version of donuts/fritters. All you have to do is visit Meg at Gluten-Free Boulangerie, this month’s GFRR host.

The Not-So-Yummy Baked Donut Base
2 large Eggs, beaten
1.5 oz Maple Syrup
5.5 oz Whole milk
6 oz Glutinous rice flour (this was why it resulted in a flat, gooey, and weird tasting donut)
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
3 tbsp. (1.45 oz) Butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. Unrefined apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. Sea salt

So here’s what I did: As the oven was preheating to 350ºF, I used an electric mixer on the lowest speed to whisk together the wet ingredients and the salt. I sifted the flour, baking powder and soda, and slowly integrating it into the wet ingredients. For about an hour, I let the batter sit on the counter, and then poured the batter into the desired sized donut pan 3/4 of the way in the mold. For thirty minutes the donuts baked a rose, and the top started to flake. I poked through a donut to check the doneness, and let them rest in the pan out of the oven for a few minutes. That was when the donuts started to flatten. Regardless, I placed them on a cooling rack and took some pictures. The boyfriend came down and took a bite… that was all he could stomach. I took a smaller bite, and I knew a flop when I tasted one. It made up to a 12 regular sized donuts, but they were not eaten.

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