Montclair Bread Company sells more doughnuts on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year. More than Easter, more than Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday. Who knew? The first year I was open, I thought I might sell more bread for parties but I had no idea people would want to purchase doughnuts. We sold out by 9am, with no hope of making more. I call the shift after a sell-out the ‘apology shift’ because the staff is forced to apologize to disappointed customers over and over again.
The doughnut menu changes monthly. There is a leadership team meeting each month to plan for the next menu. We account for holidays, special occasions and seasonal ingredients/flavors. Super Bowl is tough because it’s just before Valentine’s Day and generally after the January menu so it gets a whole menu of its own that runs for a little less than a week. Our first game day menu featured Maple Bacon Doughnuts, Beer & Peanuts Doughnuts, Chocolate Covered Pretzel Doughnuts and Team Colors Doughnuts. We took a metal circle cutter and bent it into an oval to turn our Nutella and Boston Cream Doughnuts into footballs.
Shortly after our first Super Bowl menu, we made a special doughnut for April 20th which also happened to be Easter that year. Carolyn, Rachel and I tried to think about foods symbolic to late night food cravings and we came up with what we referred to as The Munchies Doughnut…fudge glaze topped with brownies, m&m’s, pretzels, potato chips and finished with peanut butter drizzle. I took an assorted dozen to an Easter brunch at my neighbor’s house. When she tried the doughnut she told me I should use it on the Mother’s Day menu and call it a PMS Doughnut. So I did. And again on Father’s Day as the Ultimate Snack Food Doughnut.
The following year, when planning the Super Bowl menu, we immediately thought of the Munchies Doughnut. It got a new name, the Touchdown Doughnut, which still lives on. It was featured in the New York Times story profiling me and Montclair Bread Company which went to print on Valentine’s Day three years ago.
For the last three years, Carolyn has begged me to let her make a Buffalo Wing Doughnut. I thought it was gross and I shot it down. She also begs to make mayonnaise filled doughnuts for April Fool’s Day each year which gets a big fat veto. I just couldn’t picture how the doughnut would go together and having never given her much time to plan it out, the idea was always dropped on the cutting room floor. A couple months ago when I brought up an idea for a Chicken & Waffles Doughnut, she called me out. If I could put chicken on a doughnut, why couldn’t she do it? Touché!
I made a mornay sauce with blue cheese which would be used to fill the center of the doughnut. Then I heated brown sugar and honey until it was melted before adding classic Buffalo wing hot sauce. This would glaze the rim of the doughnut and the boneless chicken wing on top. Carolyn and I assembled the doughnut and topped it with a few extra crumbles of blue cheese, a piece of celery and a carrot stick. And there you have it, a Buffalo Chicken Doughnut comes to life. Carolyn whipped cream cheese with ranch seasoning to make a ranch version of our doughnut. This quickly lead to a war between Team Blue and Team Ranch. After all, everything, even doughnut making, is a competition.
The weekend was difficult at best. On Friday, a full-time baker quit with no notice, eager to start a corporate gig with more suitable hours. At midnight when the first baker arrived to mix the dough for Saturday, the mixer wouldn’t start. He had to mix several tiny batches of the doughnut and bread doughs in our only operational mixer. Production was two hours behind schedule. We all worked to get everything back on track. Josie came in to help build doughnut towers and glaze doughnuts for orders. We tried to prepare ourselves for the biggest doughnut day of the entire year, without a mixer! Josie and I worked all day, until 8:30pm, mixing as much of the dough as we could for Sunday and putting it in the fridge to have a longer than usual fermentation. We made 15 trays of sticky & cinnamon buns!!! Thankfully, the 24 hour emergency mixer repair man came in before the day was over and got our large mixer operational.
At 4AM Sunday morning, I returned to the bakery to help finish the Super Bowl doughnuts. I baked all the buns Josie and I made the day before. Then, I piped football laces on 350 Nutella and Boston Cream doughnuts. Josie joined me at the bakery at 6AM and helped to put the final touches on all the doughnuts. There was a line at the door the second we opened. It continued throughout the entire day. All 15 trays of buns were sold out by 9am and the football doughnuts only lasted an hour or two longer.
At 10am, I gathered the kids and took them to Brookdale Park so we could enjoy the nice weather before time ran out. By noon, I was back at the bakery prepping food for the Fueled by Doughnuts Running Club party. Brad and I made wings (without doughnuts), guacamole, hummus, sandwich platters, stuffed jalapenos and more. I think I finally laid my head on my pillow sometime just before 11PM. I missed my Sunday bike workout. My feet were throbbing. Every joint in my body ached from endless hours standing on the concrete bakery floor. Done.
Weekly Training Log
Monday: SWIM 2100 with 6x75, EFE, FEF, 300p, 3x100s, 4x50
PT: Core, Core, Core
I don’t remember dinner. I baked 1000 sandwich rolls over the last three day and stayed at the bakery until 9pm slicing ham, turkey, swiss and cheddar to make 1000 lunches on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday: RUN: 5x600, 400 recover, finish with 1600
I missed the Tuesday morning group run. I arrived at the bakery at 4am to commence sandwich production. At 5am I was joined by a dozen volunteers to help make sandwiches, package chocolate chip cookies, box fresh fruit, count water bottles and load up 1000 lunches to feed the TSA agents at Newark airport and all the guards at Fort Dix Penitentiary. who have been working without pay for five weeks. The Montclair PBA delivered the lunches using their trailer.
When we finished, it was snowing. I drove to the track to complete my workout before I was able to convince myself that a nap would be better.
Teriyaki chicken with green beans and sweet potatoes for dinner.
Wednesday: SWIM: 2000 with 4x25, 4x100, 400, 4x100, 4x25
Thursday: RUN 50:00 with 3x8 @ HM
Given the single degree temps, I opted to run on the treadmill. I will not make the same decision next time.
Grilled chicken and roasted potatoes for dinner.
Friday: BIKE 3x8:00 at 70% with 3:00 recovery
Tomatoes, peppers & chicken sausage over cheesy mashed potatoes or what happens when you combine the three separate meals you made to satisfy three children on one plate.
Saturday: RUN 65:00 snuck out between filling orders and prepping for the Sunday bake.
Cheesesteaks on pretzel rolls because it just doesn’t get old!