We take donuts for granted. The supremely satisfying morning treat is much easier to pick up and eat than it is to make. When MJ Flott describes the process of making donuts from scratch, it sounds like a tricky and complex science experiment.
Flott is the brain and the baker behind Wolf Teeth Donuts. Flott’s obsession with donuts began with a craving during a trip down to Austin, Texas.
Upon arriving back home in Pittsburgh, Flott set to work making them. Many nights were spent tweaking the recipe, making small batches with different recipes, and giving donuts to friends and coworkers to taste-test. Once the recipe was nailed down, Flott began producing bigger batches at the kitchen at Spirit, in Lawrenceville.
The base donut has a consistent flavor and texture, but Flott likes to switch up the flavors every week. The Sunday City Paper dove in for a taste-test at Polish Hill’s Lili Café, the flavors of the week were orange with rosewater, chocolate-peanut butter, blueberry pie and classic vanilla.
The chocolate-peanut-butter donut is decadent, and the blueberry pie’s glaze pairs nicely with its crumbly pie-crust garnish. The orange and rosewater donuts make the treat taste light and summery. For donut traditionalists, the vanilla donut, with its sprinkle-covered glaze, will get the job done.
Flott’s donuts are deep-fried and vegan. The deep frying gives them the classic fluffy interior, and their satisfying texture could convince skeptics that they were eating a traditional donut made with eggs and dairy.
Although Flott is gluten-intolerant, Flott believes firmly in the beauty of a yeasted and deep-fried donut. While the recipe is vegan, it is not gluten-free.
“So much of making donuts is about babysitting gluten,” laughs Flott. “When the donut batter is mixing, I’m cheerleading the gluten to set up right, even though gluten makes me feel terrible.”
Wolf Teeth Donuts are available at Spirit’s brunch on Saturdays, Lili Cafe on Sundays, and at various pop-up events around the city.