I have loved doughnuts my whole life. When I was a kid, my dad always got us doughnuts for the first day of school. Summer swim team got doughnuts at Friday morning practices when we won a meet. Winter swimming meant Saturday morning doughnuts. Even Sunday mornings could mean a douughnut.
I had a few go-to favorites. Chocolate long-johns, Boston Cream, Chocolate snowballs. And their loss was a big one for me. I can make a mean cupcake. But doughnuts are different. They require hot oil if you want to go about making them the traditional way. And while I love gluten-free baked doughnuts, they just don’t have the same effect as perfectly fried yeast dough. (There have been a few times that I put in the effort for gluten-free doughnuts of the fried variety, but they are quite labor intensive).
And then I found Do-Rite Donuts. (I am a little late to the party). They are one of the donut shops that has gained an almost cult following, and one day not too long ago, I hopped off the ‘L’ in the morning and decided to check it out.
I bought a dozen gluten-filled donuts for my coworkers and then ordered one each of that day’s gluten-free flavors. Before I could even ask for the woman working to change her gloves, she had them off. With a fresh pair of gloves, she grabbed tissue out of a separate box and reached into the gluten-free case. I was a wee bit speechless.
They also use a separate fryer and prep for gluten-free doughnuts.
The best part?
The doughnuts were damn delicious. Yeasty, not too heavy. Crispy outside and a soft, lush dough. And then there are the flavors. Every day they have a gluten-free doughnut with Valharona chocolate glaze and a specialty flavor. Now I understand how doughnuts have a cult following. They make a lemon doughnut that is pretty much perfect. The maple bacon, however, blows the rest of them out of the water.
These doughnuts are so good, that I brought my friend Kyra (you know, the pastry chef who won Cupcake Wars three times with gluten-free cupcakes) there early on a Sunday morning. We practically bought them out of all the gluten-free doughnuts in the case – when someone behind us in line asked if they had more in the back and there weren’t any, we left a couple behind so their Sunday voyage from the suburbs wasn’t in vain. (To be honest, we really didn’t want to share.)
Gluten-free doughnuts are a luxury that many of us don’t often get. Making them at home can be a lot of effort and buying them usually results in baked (which are delicious, they just aren’t the same) treats. I hadn’t had a doughnut that was made by someone else since my diagnosis 8 years ago and it was totally worth the wait. Next time you can find some time in downtown Chicago, you need to make getting a doughnut a priority. (And go early, when the doughnuts are gone, they’re gone for the day.)
50 W. Randolph Street.