The Holy Doughnut in Portland, Maine, isn’t like other doughnut shops. The locally-owned shop, which has two locations and pumps out about 25,000 doughnuts per week, has a secret ingredient: mashed potatoes.
Unlike most doughnuts that rely on yeast, or lots of butter, eggs, and milk, the result is a doughnut unlike any other.
Founder and owner Leigh Kellis says she came up with the idea after a craving for “doughnuts that tasted delicious, but weren’t full of junk.” She played around with various recipes until stumbling on mashed potatoes. To make her delectable doughnuts, potatoes are riced through a mill and mixed with flour.
The final product is something in between the traditional yeast and cake doughnut recipes most people are familiar with: Holy Doughnut’s doughnuts have the spongy, chewy softness of yeast doughnuts, but also the thick texture of cake-filled ones.
Since the original potato doughnut, the shop has expanded their offerings to include dozens of flavours, including Maple Bacon, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Sweet Potato Ginger, Fresh Lemon, Maine Blueberry, and the savoury Bacon Cheddar filled doughnut.
The Holy Doughnut has been open for over five years, and Kellis says that while they’d like to expand, they don’t want to sacrifice the quality that comes with hand-making each and every doughnut they sell. That quality is what has gotten the shop cult status in Maine, with weekend lines regularly snaking out the door.
Once you’ve had one, it’s easy to see why.
Story and editing by Stephen Parkhurst
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