We'd like to take a moment to talk about donuts. But first, let's talk about Twin Peaks. If you don't already know the connection, you'll see in a moment. Back in October, the news exploded across the internet that the cult classic TV show Twin Peaks will be returning for a 9-episode run in 2016. People love Twin Peaks for all kinds of reasons: the quirky characters, the creepy murder mystery, the haunting sountrack, the hilarious dialogue, the trippy dream sequences, and all of the other bizarre aesthetic traits that are the directorial stamp of David Lynch.
Among the reasons we're fans, is Agent Dale Cooper's (the show's protagonist) pure love of coffee. "Every day, once a day, give yourself a present," he advises the Sheriff. When that present is hot black coffee, we couldn't agree more.
Twin Peaks also has something special going on with donuts. There are lots of scenes involving donuts, shot with such reverance that it can inspire some tremendous cravings during a binge watch. We can only hope that the new season of Twin Peaks will feature as much coffee and as many donuts as the first two.
You could argue that the donut is the most down-to-earth pastry, a democratic pastry, a pastry for the people. While the origin of the donut is often contested, they just feel American, right? A simple shape, a simple goal: doughy, sweet satisfaction.
But have you noticed that there's a new school of donut on the rise, touting gourmet and sometimes wild flavors and exceptional quality? Dottie's Donuts are new kids on the block in the world of donut-making, and they are doing some really cool stuff.
For one, their donuts are totally vegan. For two, they make their donuts by hand, always extremely fresh. For three, their flavors are creative and delicious! As soon as we discovered Dottie's, we knew we had to have them at HubBub. We now carry a rotating selection of their donuts at our Spruce Street and 3 Logan Square shops!
Dottie's Donuts was started in March of 2014 by Jeff and Matt, two veterans of Blackbird Pizzeria, a vegan pizza shop on 6th & Lombard. Under the guidance of Blackbird's owner and their (former) boss Mark, the two decided that Philly was sorely lacking a vegan donut company and decided to stake their claim. "I've never had a boss help me quit my job before!" Jeff jokes.
After many trials - and a few errors - the guys settled on their donut recipe and now crank them out by the hundred at their commercial kitchen space in West Philly. Right now they are wholesale only, but hope to open a storefront by this spring.
Their donuts are yeasted, which gives them a light, layered texture, as opposed to the dense richness of cake-y donuts. "Yeast makes baking more complex," Jeff notes, "so people seem to steer clear of that. We had some experience with yeast working at Blackbird, but it was a huge learning curve and we’re still not even 100% there knowing how yeast works!"
While the Dottie's dudes might not be yeast experts just yet, their donuts are awesome. They use coconut milk to replace the whole milk used in "regular donuts," which keeps the donuts tender, and a blend of starches to replace the eggs. "Donuts are just ratios of fat, flour and hydration, so converting them to vegan is just more of a math problem than anything," Jeff says.
The Dottie's flavors range from classic, like cinnamon and sugar (Matt & Jeff's favorite) to esoteric, like strawberry basil, matcha green tea, and spiced elderflower. Their flavors change all the time, often focusing on seasonal specials, so when you come into HubBub, there will often be new flavors to try! Keep your eyes out for the breakfast donut (a maple glazed donut TOPPED WITH A PANCAKE, chocolate, and powdered sugar), which has been a staff and customer favorite.
The Philly food press is starting to take note, as well. Dottie's Donuts was recently named one of the best new breakfast options in Philadelphia by FooBooz, and Philly.com did a super nice write up about them in September. It's not just hype, people! These donuts are A+, and a perfect pairing with your HubBub coffee or latte.