bake - September/October 2020 - 13

From ghost kitchens to signature specials,
bakers are responding with zeal.

BY JOHN UNREIN
For every shift in the economy, noticeable changes in

debuting in September were Stan's private label cold

fresh food retailing, including bakery, occur throughout

brew growlers.

the distribution chain as a result. Now in the wake of
the most dramatic crisis - the COVID-19 pandemic - of

rather than follow the trends. This philosophy applies introduces the

recent history, a fundamental transformation is occur-

especially to Stan's Pretzel Donut.

pretzel donut

ring in how breads, bakery products and other fresh

"In our technique, we age the flour for two to three to celebrate

foods are produced and distributed to consumers. For

weeks. Then everything after the proof, there are 10 Oktoberfest.

instance, ghost kitchens, a food preparation and cooking

different things we do to make our pretzel," he says.

facility set up for delivery-only meals, are popping up

"Our pretzel dough is very unique."

across the country. The implications for fresh bakery
are profound and lasting.

Because he steers away from using artificial flavors, the
process is quite involved. Essentially, the product trans-

On one hand, this emerging trend makes it imperative

forms into a pretzel after they fry the dough - once they

for retail bakeries to examine new ways to sell and to

soak the dough in a caustic soda bath and then bake it.

generate excitement about innovative products.

They start by making their signature yeast donut dough,

One prime example of such innovation is happening

following a variety of important steps including double

in Chicago. While Oktoberfest is cancelled this year in

hydration and long retarding time of 18 to 24 hours.

its usual capacity, Stan's Donuts & Coffee is featuring a

Labriola points out their donut dough is "panettone like"

sweet way to continue celebrating the beloved German

but not too rich in egg and butter like brioche dough. It's

holiday - with a twist. Donut guru and Stan's "chief

a large donut, "but ours is very light and very flavorful."

doughboy" Rich Labriola has created the world's first
pretzel donut.
Made with Stan's signature yeast dough, the Stan's

One ingredient that can be linked to the unique flavor
is their use of vanilla. They use vanilla in their dough.
"We use tons of vanilla in our bakery," Labriola explains.

Pretzel Donut is fried, soaked in a pretzel bath, and baked

The end result is a perfectly balanced donut that tastes

to perfection. Each pretzel donut is drizzled with Stan's

a little like a pretzel and a little like a sweet donut, with

signature vanilla icing. Starting Sept. 19, in honor of the

a thicker vanilla glaze on top. More flavors are likely

would-be start of Oktoberfest, the Stan's Pretzel Donut

coming down the road.

was available at all 12 Stan's locations in the Chicagoland. 

STAN'S DONUTS & COFFEE

Stan's Donuts &

Labriola is quick to point out that he prefers to lead Coffee in Chicago

"This is a true pretzel donut made with our yeasted

"We've been working on this for a few years now, trying

raised donut dough," Labriola says. "It is not savory,

different variations to find the perfect balance between

but just sweet enough. We are pairing its introduction

sweet and savory," Labriola says. "As someone who has

to the beginning of Oktoberfest. What more perfect

been baking and working with pretzels and donuts my

time to launch it?"

entire life, I'm excited for our fans to sink their teeth into
what I know is the ultimate pretzel donut."

The dawn of "ghost kitchens"

As a leader in donut innovation, Stan's finds new

In the recent podcast "Ghost Kitchens and the Changing

ways each month to bring joy to its fans. Other seasonal

Nature Of Restaurants" sponsored by Mesirow Financial,

treats to complement the Stan's Pretzel Donut include

Kitchen United chief executive officer Jim Collins

the Pumpkin Old Fashioned Donut, Apple Cider Cake

and Technomic strategy consultant Melissa Wilson

Donut, Fall Glazed Donut, and Apple Pie LeStan. Also

explained the implications of how ghost kitchens are

bakemag.com | SEP-OCT 2020 > 13


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bake - September/October 2020

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