I first met the doughscuit at last weekend’s Donut Fest in Chicago, where 15 doughnut-makers get together to try to kill you, for charity. They serve 1/4 portions of doughnuts, but still, after a few tables you feel yourself slowing down and thinking there’s no way you’ll make it through.
Everything starts to taste the same. Your mustache, if you have a mustache, is glazed. You look around at the thousands of doughnuts and wonder if you totaled up the calories in this room, how many delicious pounds it would be.
I was 10 doughnuts in when I came to Endgrain Restaurant’s table, and I was in no condition to want or enjoy anything.
But their doughscuit — half doughnut, half biscuit — was transcendent, an impossible mix of doughnut-fried sweetness and crumbly biscuitness. Every last nook of free space in my body was full, and I bought extras. I ate one at home later. The next morning I had more. I’m not entirely sure I’m going to finish writing this sentence without going out to get another.
The doughscuit came about last fall, when the Cronut hype was still in full swing. If you’re not familiar, the Cronut is the hourslong-line inspiring croissant-doughnut hybrid from the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City.
“People kept telling us we should make a Cronut,” says Enoch Simpson, who is chef and owner of Endgrain with his brother Caleb. “When Caleb told me about his idea [for the Doughscuit], I actually giggled. I was like, ‘What, dude?’ ”
It took some experimentation, but eventually Caleb figured it out. Enoch took a bite.
“Whoa,” he said to his brother. “What the hell did you just do?”
Look, nothing against the Cronut. The free market proved it was a good idea when scalpers started selling them at a 600 percent markup.
But the Cronut has an FAQ page. The Cronut has a little “R” in a circle next to its name. The Cronut is the kind of pastry that corrects you that, no, that’s not champagne — only sparking wine from the region called Champagne can truly be called champagne.
Look for us nationwide as well, but please be wary that if you don’t see the Dominique Ansel Bakery affiliation, it is not a Cronut®.
The doughscuit is more humble. It’s got a hardworking biscuit for a dad, not a fancy croissant. It doesn’t have the little ® next to its name. All it should have next to its name, forever, is an exclamation point.