Donuts did not originate in Japan, but the country is home to pon de ring donuts. Many people confuse these with mochi donuts, but they are two different things. However, they might look the same, so it can be challenging to distinguish them based on appearance.
If you are looking for authentic pon de ring Japanese donuts, you are in the right place. Here is everything you need to know about it, plus a magnificent recipe for you to try at home.
Pon De Ring Donuts: The Basics
The pon de ring donut is one of the unique donuts in Japan that contains eight dough balls in a connected circle. These Japanese donuts can be created in any flavor. They are also available in the US, but mostly those are mochi donuts and not pon de ring.
The term pon de ring donut is synonymous with Mister Donut as they created the signature donut. The donuts were created in 2003, and Brazil inspired them. In Brazil, people make a unique cheese bread with tapioca starch.
The tapioca flour provides a chewy texture and resembles a donut hole in its appearance. The pon de ring donuts also use tapioca starch to the same texture and flavor. So, no matter what anyone tells you, a mochi donut recipe will never be the same as a pon de ring donut recipe.
The Difference Between Pon De Ring And Mochi Donuts
Not many people know the real differences between a pon de ring and a mochi donut. Here are the top two things that distinguish these donuts:
1. Main Ingredient
The top thing that separates these donuts is the ingredients they are made from. As we mentioned before, pon de ring donuts are made of tapioca and wheat flour. It provides it a chewy texture and gives it that wow factor.
On the other hand, a mochi donut is made of glutinous rice flour. When you have both the donuts together, you will instantly notice the difference in these ingredients.
Both donuts are chewy, but a mochi donut will always be denser than a pon de ring. That is because while tapioca flour makes the pon de ring donut chewy, it also provides an airy, soft, and bouncy texture. So, when you have a pon de ring donut, you will notice that it is still incredibly light despite being chewy.
So, now you know the top two factors that distinguish mochi donuts from pon de ring. Many donut sellers also copy the appearance of the pon de ring donut on mochi donuts to make it look authentic. However, you can easily tell the difference in the texture and taste.
Challenges With Pon De Ring Donuts
If you are thinking of creating these Japanese donuts for the first time, you will face some challenges. Of course, it is easy to overcome them once you understand what they are. Here are the top two challenges you might face when creating a pon de ring donut:
1. The Right Appropriate Flour
A pon de ring is not a donut without the right flour that gives it a chewy yet airy texture. You need to mix the tapioca flour with another one to get the right result. If you only use tapioca flour, you will not achieve a chewy and light texture.
That is why choosing the appropriate flour is essential. One of the best things you can do is mix tapioca flour with all-purpose flour. The tapioca will give it that chewy texture, but the all-purpose flour will ensure the donuts’ airiness, bounciness, and softness.
Remember that you will have to experiment with various ratios to find the right one for your pon de ring donuts. So, this is an error and trial process you will have to learn through.
2. The Dough
Brace yourself for kneading the dough because it will be soft and sticky, which can make it tricky to knead properly. While many donut chains use machines for this process, you don’t have that luxury at your home. That is why you will need to figure out a way to deal with the dough.
You can have some tools to help you during this process or wear gloves to avoid getting your hands stuck in the dough. Even this will be a learning process for you, and you will have to figure out a way around it.
What You Need For Pon De Ring Donut Recipe
Here are all the ingredients you will need to create the pon de ring donut recipe:
1. Flour And Yeast
You should get a pack of tapioca flour, all-purpose flour, and instant yeast to achieve the perfect pon de ring donut. Instant yeast is convenient, and you can mix it into the dough without activating it. You can find a high-quality one of a brand you like and trust.
2. Safflower Oil
Mister Donut fries their pon de ring donuts in lard and many other oils. These allow the donuts to stay crisp. While you can’t deep fry the pon de ring donut in lard, safflower oil is a great alternative. That is because it offers the same crispiness without making the donuts drip with excess oil.
3. Pastry Card
We already mentioned the challenge of dealing with a sticky and soft dough. Well, the best defense against it is using a pastry card. The tool will allow you to scrape, knead, and divide the pon de ring balls without any inconvenience.
4. Thermometer Or Chef Alarm
You will need a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil and see it doesn’t exceed or lower the ideal mark. You can also invest in a chef alarm to notify you whenever there is a change in the ideal oil temperature. Of course, a chef alarm is a more convenient option because you will be the first to know as soon as there is any change.
Tips For The Perfect Pon De Ring Donuts
If you want to create these perfect Japanese donuts, here are some top tips you need to follow:
1. Don’t Add Excess Flour
Don’t use too much flour or too many various flours in your recipe. The tapioca flour should be the star flour, and the other one should work to complement it. You can use all-purpose flour for this as it will retain the original texture and taste of the pon de ring without compromising on its texture integrity.
2. Kneading The Dough Well
Kneading the dough well is one of the most critical aspects of making a good pon de ring donut. You can use a stand mixer for this purpose as the dough will be highly sticky, and you might get frustrated with the process of doing it with your hands. You need to knead in a way that the gluten activates.
3. The Ideal Temperature
A high temperature will always ruin the donuts, which is why you should keep the oil at an ideal temperature to fry the donuts in. The perfect temperature for pon de ring donuts will be between 168 degrees Celsius and 177 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is too high, the donuts will become too crispy, and if the temperature is too low, the donuts will turn out soggy.
4. Drain The Oil
Always drain the oil before you serve the Japanese donuts. You can use several sheets of paper towels to drain the oil in the best way. Many people use wire racks, but some oil will remain if you use that option.
5. Glaze When Pon De Ring Is Hot
Please don’t wait for your pon de rings to go cold and then glaze them. It would be best if you glazed the donuts while they are hot to ensure a beautiful glaze and appearance. Once you do this, your donuts will look fantastic.
The Pon De Ring Donut Recipe
Now that you have all the basic information on pon de ring donuts, here is its recipe. You will need the following ingredients to begin the process:
- One tsp instant yeast
- Six tbsp unsalted butter
- One cup whole milk (heat it to 43 degrees Celsius)
- Two large eggs
- Two and a half cups tapioca flour (plus two and a half tbsp)
- One and a quarter cup of all-purpose flour (plus one tbsp)
- One tsp pure vanilla extract
- Quarter cup granulated sugar
- Half tsp sea salt
- Four cups of safflower oil
These ingredients are for the donut. For the glaze, you will require:
- Half tsp pure vanilla extract
- Two cups of confectioners’ sugar
- Quarter cup whole milk
- One tbsp matcha green powder
Here are comprehensive instructions for you to prepare your pon de ring donuts in the best way:
- Before you begin cooking, you should gather all the ingredients and measure everything beforehand. Besides that, you should also prepare twenty-four sheets of 4 x 4 parchment paper.
- Melt your butter and let it cool. After that, crack two eggs in a bowl and whisk. Set aside these ingredients.
- Take a stand mixer or a big mixing bowl. Add whole milk, instant yeast, and half tsp granulated sugar. Whisk all the ingredients together and set them aside for five to ten minutes.
- Take another large mixing bowl. Add all-purpose flour and tapioca flour using a fine-mesh sieve. After that, whisk both the flours to combine them.
- Set your stand mixer with the beating attachment. Add the remaining granulated sugar, eggs you beat before, vanilla, and melted butter to the mixture. Beat the mixture at the lowest speed for a minute till everything is combined.
- Add 2 cups of the flour mixture to the mixture mentioned above and beat it at the lowest speed until it is combined effectively.
- After that, keep your mixer on the lowest speed and add the remaining flour mixture. You should do this one scoop at a time and also add the salt. Set the bowl in which you mixed your flours aside.
- In the stand mixer, change the speed to medium-high and beat the mixture for three to four minutes.
- Bring back the bowl in which you mixed the flours and add some oil to grease it with a paper towel. Also, remove the beater attachment from the stand mixer, and you will notice the sticky and stretchy dough.
- Take your pastry card and transfer the dough mixture to the bowl you just greased. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in a warm place for seventy to eighty minutes to let it rise until double.
- Pour the oil in a heavy-bottom pot or a Dutch oven. You can also set up your thermometer or chef alarm.
- Take a bowl and combine all the glaze ingredients except the matcha powder. Whisk them well.
- Take one to two tbsp of all-purpose flour and put it on your work surface. Dust some on the work surface.
- Take the pastry card to remove the dough from the bowl and put it on your work surface. Slightly sprinkle flour and press the dough down to release air bubbles. Using the pastry card, shape the dough into a log and cut it in half.
- Shape one-half of the dough into balls and cover with plastic wrap. Shape the other half into four balls and keep three under a plastic wrap.
- Use the pastry card to cut the dough into small balls (five grams). Roll the balls between your hands but don’t overdo it.
- Take the pastry card and transfer each ball to a 4×4 parchment paper. Each pon de ring donut should have eight balls. Take a pastry brush and rub water on the dough where the balls connect to prevent them from detaching.
- Heat the oil in the oven to 177 degrees Celsius. Put paper towels on the first baking sheet and wire rack on the second baking sheet.
- Use a skinner to put the donut in the oil with the parchment paper. Prepare the first side of the donuts for one minute and fifteen seconds. After that, flip the donut and fry it for forty-five seconds.
- Once done, scoop the pon de ring and drain it properly. Transfer it to the paper towel to drain further.
- Dip the donut into the glaze and coat well. After that, place the pon de ring on the wire rack to allow excess glaze to drip. It will take half an hour for the glaze to harden.
- Add matcha to the leftover glaze and whisk well to combine. Dip each donut into this glaze and coat well. Place it on the wire rack and let it be for half an hour.
That was the perfect pon de ring donut recipe. We hope you enjoy these Japanese donuts and keep making them repeatedly. Let us know if you liked these donuts.