The other day, we called out to a group of friends hanging out at our kitchen studio. “Hey guys! Doughnuts are ready!” It seems that nothing can make people run faster, happily, than a batch of hot doughnuts, ready to eat. Every one of the people in the room made little happy noises and exclaimed as one. “Oh, these are good!” Only after the doughnuts were gone did we tell them these soft, cakey doughnuts were from a gluten-free mix: Dough Buddies Gluten-Free Donut Mix.
We’re happy to announce that Dough Buddies is our latest sponsor. We truly believe that you’ll love this easy-to-use mix. It makes some darned fine doughnuts, gluten-free.
This small company is run by two lovely women, Karen Manarolla and Pat Landy. We’ll let them tell you their story.
Why did you start Dough Buddies?
Pat: We met at the University of Washington in a French class, we became friends, and later colleagues as French teachers in Seattle. Continually amazed by the frequency of “like-mindedness,” it did not surprise our friends and families that we would pursue an after-teaching career doing something together. Dough Buddies – it’s all in the name!
Karen: In 2006, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis caused by gluten intolerance and I loved doughnuts. Desperate in 2010 for a really delicious doughnut, I took a class on making gluten free doughnuts and a light went on! I started experimenting with recipes and brought doughnut holes to school in containers marked A, B, and C. Pat and the other language teachers would give them a try, talk about them and then send me the feedback. After about 6 months of taste testing, I had a recipe we all liked: a classic, cake doughnut that was yummy! We widened the circle of taste testers to family and friends and the responses were all very encouraging.
Karen: I have always loved doughnuts and I’ve eaten a ton of them. It started with Spudnuts in Ballard many years ago, watching the doughnuts roll out on the conveyor belt and eating them warm and fluffy. In high school I ate doughnuts by the bagful. At the University of Washington my favorite breakfast was a cup of coffee with a chocolate covered chocolate doughnut. On road trips I’d buy those packaged, powdered sugar mini-doughnuts at the convenience stores. I loved doughnuts. In 2006 my doughnut eating came to a screeching halt when I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. I still craved doughnuts.
Pat: We want everyone to have the best gluten free doughnut possible. Does that mean consumers need to make them themselves? Or, can they go to a doughnut shop and buy a delicious gluten free doughnut? We think having options is really important. And we believe that most everyone would agree, a fresh, delicious, doughnut is the absolute best. So we are looking for every opportunity to bring our doughnuts to consumers of gluten free products by marketing the mix to local grocery stores, selling through our website on the internet, and looking for restaurants with dedicated gluten free fryers or with the desire to offer baked gluten free doughnuts. Whether doughnut or donut, we have one that the whole family can enjoy!
Can you tell us about the ingredients in your food and why you chose them?
Pat: First off, we looked for ingredients that, when combined, would taste good naturally, unembellished – without any frostings, toppings or glazes.
Karen: Taste and texture drove the creation of Dough Buddies GF Doughnut Mix. With each experiment in the kitchen we learned what the different flours and ingredients do and how they interact with one another. The three kinds of rice flours combine to create a lighter and crispier doughnut that tastes the way we remember cake doughnuts to taste. The spices are important: nutmeg, cinnamon and turmeric for both taste and health. Turmeric imparts a wonderful color to Dough Buddies, too.
We found a small, certified gluten free co-packaging company in Idaho that offered us exceptionally good tasting ingredients and would make our mix in small batches. The ingredients are the highest quality milled rice flours and potato starch. We have taken great care to insure that all of the ingredients are non GMO, do not contain any hormones, that the buttermilk powder comes from non-cloned animals and that all ingredients are free of pesticides and other unwanted chemicals and additives. Our mix is Kosher certified and the facility is certified peanut free. It’s important to us that great care is taken when our mix is packaged for our customers.
Pat: Our doughnuts can be fried or baked which is a real plus for the consumer. A lot of people are afraid of frying and although it’s really not that scary, we understand their fears. We suggest using a small saucepan with only a couple of inches of oil to keep the process manageable. Regular-sized doughnut holes take only a few minutes to fry, so the process moves quickly. When frying, we caution people to never leave the pot of oil unattended, never mix water and hot oil, and avoid splatters and we suggest using a thermometer to regulate the temperature. A couple of hints from veteran doughnut makers: save your oil in the fridge to use from one time to the next because it imparts more flavor to the finished product, roll the warm doughnuts in cinnamon and sugar but save some that have cooled to roll in powdered sugar. For those who prefer a baked product, we suggest using one of the little clamshell mini-doughnut or cake pop bakers. They produce a great product with our mix, too.
Can you tell us a story about a customer pleased by your food?
Pat: At the Mother Earth News Fair in 2012, one of our first customers was a mom with her 6 year old son. She approached our trailer and asked about the gluten-free properties of our doughnuts. Assured, she commented, “My son has never tasted a doughnut.” Wow, his first doughnut was one of OUR Dough Buddies!
Karen: We bring samples of Dough Buddies to stores and restaurants and invariably we meet people who haven’t had a delicious doughnut for years because of gluten sensitivities or intolerance. When they taste our Dough Buddies, their eyes light up, a big smile comes to their face and they say, “This tastes just like the doughnuts I remember from when I was a child.” Now THAT is a thrill!
What fuels you to do the work you do?
Karen: Working together, we see how well our creation is welcomed and in demand. We are a great team and see eye-to eye on the goals of our company and how to achieve them. The company is growing and you never know where the path will lead. Doors are always opening to new opportunities. What started as a bright idea for two friends has become a creation that is enjoyed by many others.
Pat: So many people approach our demo table saying, “I never thought I would get to have a real doughnut ever again.” It’s all about equal access, quality options, no longer feeling denied or having to make a compromise. Karen has crafted an incredible recipe that we simply need to share!
Thank you, Karen and Pat, for creating this doughnut mix. We love it and we think our readers will too.
If you’d like to know more about why we do sponsorships on this site and how we do them, please read this.
Winners have been chosen and notified. Thank you for your comments!