Joe the Baker Brings 'Chef-Driven Doughnuts' — With Toppings Like Edible Copper — to Glazed

Life is getting even sweeter at Glazed Donut Works in Deep Ellum. Five months ago, as Joe Baker was working with Glazed owner Darren Cameron as a consultant on the shop's expansion into its second location in Plano's Legacy Food Hall, an altogether different arrangement was brokered between the two.

Now Baker is the executive chef. That's right, of a doughnut shop.

Without reservation and without any regard for the popular mindset that donuts are, culinarily, "low art," Baker is focused on bringing "chef-driven doughnuts" to Dallas from the place that already has lines snaking along Elm Street for its late-night service.

As those lines indicate, nothing's broken at Glazed, so Baker isn't fixing as much as he is taking the next step in the Dallas doughnut's evolution.

"The doughnut that you get at the place on your way into work is super delicious, and that's great," Baker says. "They obviously have successful businesses, and there's nothing wrong with that. This is the next step. This is a heartier doughnut. Things like cardamom; things like the babka muffin. It doesn't all have to be the $1 doughnut from the grocery store. We can have something really great."

Cardamom dough-knots and babka muffins bigger than your fist are but two of the offerings on the new fall menu at Glazed, and two of the tamer ones at that. Aside from the permanent fixtures, like glazed, red velvet and maple bacon, which aren't going anywhere in the Baker administration, the team at Glazed will blow foodies', stoners' and stoner-foodies' minds with offerings like sweet potato glazed, the Deep Ellum Mother Pucker, the decadent Ferrero Rocher and a vegan raspberry joint that folks with or without dietary restrictions need in their lives.

Oh, and it'd be almost as sinful to forget about the new quadruple chocolate as it is to eat the new quadruple chocolate. Yes, if you're scoring at home, this is the one that has rendered Glazed's triple chocolate doughnut obsolete with three types of chocolate in the dough beneath chocolate glaze and cacao nibs for texture.

But before the menu shakeup, which we'll get back into in a minute, Baker's first order of business at Glazed was revamping the dough. Cameron calls the new batch a brioche-style dough, meaning Baker has moved Glazed away entirely from its potato-based dough recipe as of Thursday night.

That means two things for customers: a lighter doughnut, but also a doughnut that holds up a little better if it's not immediately wolfed down. Expect the current price structure at Glazed to remain intact, after earlier this year the plain glazed went up from $1 to $2, and $3 donuts are the norm.

But if the quad chocolate wasn't decadent enough for you, maybe one of the autumnal eclair options will be more your style. Baker's Ferrero Rocher is based on his favorite chocolate candy and comes complete with a real (edible) copper leaf over nutella, roasted almonds, crunchy bits and a triple chocolate brick with a chocolate river running through it. The Deep Ellum Mother Pucker is a lemon-lover's dream with a lemon curd middle. It's probably Big Bird's favorite doughnut, with its attention-grabbing fluorescent yellow glazed exterior and white chocolate striping.

Expect more rotating menu options at Glazed from now on, based not just on solstice and equinox, but on the whim and inspiration of its kitchen's new leader. Notably, though, the blueberry mascarpone, which we named one of our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2016, will be relegated to seasonal status (spring/summer), as Baker wants only the ripest and bluest of blueberries.

We're willing to get out of the man's way on that one. He seems to have this whole baking thing under control.

Glazed Donut Works, 2644 Elm St.

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Matt Martinez is a DFW-lifer who handles the Observer's editorial social media channels when he's not waxing cynical in our news, food and music verticals. Rest assured, he hates your favorite team. Matt studied journalism at the University of Texas and then again, for some reason, at UNT. He has written for the Austin Chronicle, the Denton Record-Chronicle and currently writes sports for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Contact: Matthew Martinez