I've spent a lot of my life living in fear. Fear that I would never be good enough, that I'd never live up to my own incredibly high expectations, and fear for my general safety and well-being. I've gotten much better at managing myself, but lately I've started to feel myself unraveling. This weekend I had the first panic attack that I've had in months. I watched myself from above and saw my heart beating outside of my chest, my face turn white and vision go blurry.
I don't know what I'm afraid of. Mostly doubt I think, and it creeps in at the worst possible times. As I'm locking the door to my apartment before I leave for work in the morning, or after I've tackled a new personal project and I'm wondering if it's even worth sharing with the world.
I don't feel like I'm home anymore. And I can't shake the feeling that something bad is coming. It all makes sense though, with the awful things we've been reading in the news. It's not fair. None of it's fair. I'm tired of bad things happening to good people and I'm tired of wanting to curl up in a ball every night and watch life pass right by me.
I'm sure there are some schools of thought that encourage using fear to your own advantage. As a tool that motivates you to do better and achieve more than you thought you could. But I think that's exactly how white supremacists are using their fear. The fear of losing privilege that was never really theirs to begin with. I don't want to be like them. Are there other ways of managing?
I know fear. But I don't want to embrace it. Anyone else feel that way lately?
These donuts are not the product of fear, but rather were formed as I enjoyed/stressed about the 4 days I had off in between gigs. I've been wanting to experiment with yeast risen donuts for awhile, but every recipe I know is laden with eggs. After a few batches of experimentation, I realize i was able to use aquafaba as the binding agent, and despite my fears that the hot oil would make the aquafaba fall apart -- everything worked itself out.
It always does doesn't it?
I find comfort in a few ways, and obviously one of my favorites is by baking. The methodical ritual of frying donuts is quite relaxing actually. It's nice to have something to focus on, and it seems like a few of my readers feel the same way. At least as evidenced by an instagram post I shared the other day. I've got some theories about why everyone seems to be on edge lately, besides the obvious hurricane and especially divisive political climate. But I'll keep those to myself for now.
Take care of yourselves this fall my friends.
Also, because I'm extra AF I made a giant donut. It wasn't really worth the effort to be honest, and I like the cinnamon-y donut holes better because they're bite sized and all cute and shit.
VEGAN YEAST DONUTS 2 WAYS
makes approx. 48 donut holes, or 24 donut holes and 1 ginormous, mondo unnecessary donut
- 6 Tablespoons warm (not hot) water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons plant based milk
- 1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon aquafaba*
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted**
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- oil for frying
- cinnamon sugar for topping
Place warm water and yeast into a bowl and set aside to activate. In another bowl combine the apple cider vinegar and plant based milk, and set aside to curdle into a vegan buttermilk.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt, and then add in the milk mixture, aquafaba, melted butter and yeast water. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes, until a thick dough has formed. Place dough in a clean, bowl and cover with a dishtowel. Set aside in a warm, draft-less area (top of fridge is good), and allow to double in size. This should take about 60-90 minutes.
After the dough has doubled, knead slightly on a floured surface. Roll out a rope shape to about 1/2" and then cut off little pieces to make balls. For best results place each donut hole on its own piece of cut parchment paper. I put mine all on one large sheet and it made things super difficult later on. If you're making a large donut, save half of the dough and roll it out before using the lip of the mixing bowl to shape it. I used a sharp knife to cut the shape, and a juice glass for the inside hole.
Place all your donut holes (on parchment paper) onto a cookie sheet, and slide into the oven. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for ONLY a minute before turning it off again. This will make the oven slightly warm, and give your donuts a cozy place to puff up. Next, boil about 1 cup of water and place it in a large baking dish under the donuts on the bottom or middle rack. This will create a nice steam that will prevent donuts from forming a skin. Leave the donuts in the turned off oven for another 60 minutes, or until they've doubled in size.
When you're ready to fry, heat your vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, using a thermometer. Once fully heated, take individual donuts and pop them in the oil. Wait about 1-2 minutes on each side, and notice that the donut will be golden brown and not too crispy. Set aside on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to soak up leftover oil.
Frying the giant donut is a little harder, so make sure you have a pot that is large enough, even a wok will do. Carefully use spatulas and oven mitts to flip the donut around. This one will take a bit longer on each side, so be patient.
Once the donuts are all fried and cooled, roll them around in a cinnamon sugar mixture or top with a simple icing. These are best served immediately, because when you store them in an airtight container they lose their crispness and become a little soggy.
Recipe lovingly adapted from Christina's Cucina.
** I've only ever used the Earth Balance buttery sticks in this recipe, but I think most vegan spreads will work. I am not sponsored by Earth Balance, I just really dig their products.