EATER DC: “Let D.C.’s New Crop of Light Yeast Doughnuts Carry You Away”

Wednesday February 24, 2021

EATER DC: “Let D.C.’s New Crop of Light Yeast Doughnuts Carry You Away,” February 22, 2021


From the article:

Toscana Market owner Daniele Catalani is banking on the appeal of an airy doughnut. Catalani’s new retail and takeaway operation in Mt. Vernon Triangle sells bomboloni, a spherical doughnut from Northern Italy, with all sorts of fillings. A plain option, dusted simply in sugar and lemon zest, strips away competing flavors for a light dough that retains a chewy bite thanks to the addition of high-gluten and cake flours.

“You can have more than one, because they’re light,” Catalani says of the softball-sized pastries. “You’re not going to go to sleep after eating one or two. There’s no heavy glaze.”

Catalani says it took him about two years to come up with the right mix. Before Toscana Market opened, he would use his Cucina Al Volo stall inside the Union Market food hall to conduct early-morning experiments with vats of oil between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. Once he moved into the Toscana space, commercial fryers with thermostats helped him nail down consistency.

When Catalani opened Toscana Market the day after Thanksgiving last year, he began selling the bomboloni as a weekend brunch special, offering plain versions and others stuffed with Nutella, pistachio spread, or vanilla pastry cream. Catalani says the winter months after the holidays are always the slowest time of the year, so he was preparing himself not to be discouraged if the bomboloni didn’t sell as well as he hoped. Instead, he’s already had to double doughnut production. He’s adding a bomboloni display case to show off 20 flavors at a time as he chases whims, trying out birthday cake bomboloni, s’mores bomboloni, maple-bacon bomboloni, and smoked salmon bomboloni with everything spice cream cheese and caper.