Let me paint you a picture about how these came to be.

It’s the first long weekend of the summer – the Victoria Day long weekend, or May 2-4 as we canucks call it. I’ve been out on a restaurant patio for a good 4 or 5 hours with a few of my best friends soaking up the sun and sipping back a couple beers – StoneHammer to be exact. Needless to say, we had a “couple” pitchers and we were quite thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The waiter actually commented a couple times that he wanted to join us.

It then crossed my mind that I was about due to write another article for this, the Republic of Bacon, and I was drawing a complete blanks (hence why this was published late). Now I’m sure that about 50 ideas flew across the table, only a few of which I remember at this point, but it was my vegetarian friend who delivered the gold. Vegetarian, I kid you not. Bacon donuts with a caramel topping. We discussed methods, but this is what I came up with.

Yeah. Vegetarian…

Ingredients

6 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

2 cups All Purpose Flour

½ cup Mashed Potato

½ tsp Salt

¼ cup Sugar

1 cup Milk

5 tsp Yeast

2 tbsp Butter

½ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Heavy Cream

Directions

1. First thing we have to do is take our potato, yes potato, and poke some holes in it with a fork. The starch in the potato will do wonders in the final product. Whack it in the microwave for about 5 minutes.

2. Into some warm milk, measure out 5 tsp of yeast. If the milk is cold, the yeast will not ferment. If the milk is too hot, the yeast will die. Warm milk is key. Let that sit and do its thing for a bit.

3. Take your potato out of the microwave and let it cool until you can handle it. Then give’er a peel and mash’er up with a fork.

4. In a big bowl mix together your flour, salt, sugar and mashed potato, then add in your milk and yeast mixture. If you were paying attention, you would have seen the yeast form some bubbles in the milk!

5. Mix that all up together with your hands (or a mixer with dough hooks if you’re dainty) then knead it on a floured surface once it’s all encorporated.

6. Let this rise for a little bit. What I actually did was turned on my oven for a couple minutes, then turned it off and THEN put the dough inside to create a nice warm environment for it to rise.

7. Flatten it out with a rolling pin until it’s about a half inch thick and cut rounds from it. You can put these rounds back into the warm oven as well to rise a bit.

8. While you’re letting your dough do its thing, cut your bacon into tiny pieces and give them a good frying.

9. When it’s just crispy, add in your butter and brown sugar and stir it up until it all melts.

10. Add in your heavy cream and continue to stir until it comes to a boil. Let it do that for about a minute or two, then take it off the heat and let it cool.

11. Fry your donuts in vegetable oil until they are golden brown. If you have a candy or quick-read thermometer, the oil should be at 375°F.

12. Drizzle your caramel bacon topping all over those bad boys.

Yeah. A vegetarian gave me this idea! Go figure.