A traditional Tuscan doughnut – or bombolone – is a light and airy yeast-based affair, often filled with sticky jam. And yet Megan Hunter’s interpretation of these bear no yeast whatsoever; they are sourdoughnuts!
I can vouch for their light and airy lusciousness and indeed as I bit into one I felt transported to a Florentine bar. It’s a measure of Megan’s meticulous experimentation, tweaking and re-tweaking until she was happy with the result, that her version appears a faithful replica of the Italian original recipe. While the original inspiration for her doughnuts came from a small family business in Tasmania, the recipe which Megan has worked with for several months is Italian.
‘I had been following them’, she tells me of the Tasmanian sisters whose doughnuts first inspired her, ‘and got really inspired to make my own version of a sourdough doughnut. So I messaged them to see if they would mind – and I was given the go-ahead.’
Being sourdough, of course, means it’s a long slow process. ‘Our whole process’, she says, ‘starts 36–48 hours before they are ready to eat! There is a lot of proving and rolling and then more proving…’. This means that Megan and her small family team must start the process the day before a market. Based in the Mullumbimby Industrial Estate, she shares a commercial kitchen, and it’s there too that her range of glorious fillings are devised. I asked her which is the most popular? ‘They all are!’ she laughs, ‘But if I had to choose: our signature lemon curd is up there.’
I’ve always loved the slightly chewy quality of a good doughnut, despite its fluffyness – and I cherish childhood memories of buying still-hot sugar-coated doughnuts, the ones with holes, from the David Jones Food Hall in Canberra. Megan’s have precisely that quality as well – with the added bonus that they’re fermented, so they’re a healthier option!
Sweet n Sour Doughnuts can be found every Friday at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market 7–11am.