Baking requires precise measurements, timing, temperatures, and more tools than you need for cooking anything else. Perhaps this is the reason why many home cooks refrain from baking altogether or hesitate to try whipping up a soufflé; baking is notoriously hard, especially without the right equipment.
At least that’s what we used to think – 20-year-old pastry chef Aishwarya Subash managed to convince us that baking “complex” desserts at home isn’t so hard after all. Subash recently quit her job at a prominent bakery and began pumping out classic baked goods like cupcakes, sugar cookies, and even more sophisticated treats like the popular “smash heart” through her new pastry business, Patissiere Doux.
Based in Mississauga, Ont., Subash has been filling custom orders throughout the pandemic for gorgeous custom cakes and even holiday-themed favourites, like these clover-shaped sugar cookies for St. Patrick’s Day. She offers delivery services too, besides the simple recipes she provided us below.
If you thought you weren’t a baker, we beg to differ. Subash’s foolproof recipes are bound to prove you wrong.

Scroll to discover the recipes for Patissiere Doux‘s famous sugar cookies, donuts and focaccia! 

Simple Sugar Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen 2 ½ inch cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour (450g)

¾ teaspoon baking powder (3g)

1 teaspoon salt (5g)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (227g)

1 cup sugar (200g)

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoon milk (45ml)

Instructions:

  1. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder, then set aside.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of your electric stand mixer (if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can place it in a large bowl and beat it with a handheld beater). Beat until pale and fluffy for approximately 10 minutes on a medium speed. Always make sure to scrape down your bowl.
  3. Add the milk and egg into the bowl and beat until it is well combined. Make sure to scrape your bowl to ensure everything is evenly mixed.
  4. Turn your mixer on low speed and gradually spoon in the flour. Combine until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  5. Divide the dough into three portions, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 15- 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350F/176C.
  7. Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Remove one wrapped pack of dough from the refrigerator at a time. You don’t want your dough to get too warm.
  8. Roll out your dough so that it’s a ¼ inch thick. Move the dough around to ensure it doesn’t stick to the surface.
  9. If the dough is warming, place it back in the fridge before cutting out your cookies.
  10. Cut your desired shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Make sure to leave at least a one-inch space between the cookies, giving them a little room in case they spread.
  11. Let the cookies bake for between 9-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the heat distribution of your oven.
  12. Bake until the cookies start to brown around the edges. Once they are out of the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  13. Serve as is or ice them as desired. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

Royal Icing

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar/confectioner’s sugar (450g)

3 teaspoon meringue powder (15g)

6 tablespoon water (90 ml)

*A little bit of water goes a long way! You will need more or less water depending on the consistency of the icing.

Instructions:

  1. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and meringue powder directly into the bowl of your stand mixer, then add in your water.
  2. Start to mix on a slow speed til everything is combined. Add more water if needed.
  3. Let your mixer stir on a medium speed – you will see the colour of your royal icing change to a bright white.
  4. After about 5 minutes, your icing should be ready to use. Add it to a piping bag and you’re good to go!

Easy Stovetop Donuts

Yield: 1 dozen donuts

Ingredients:

290g all-purpose flour

40g granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

1 egg, beaten

135g tablespoon milk, warmed*

40g melted butter

7g dry yeast (1 packet)

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add your flour, nutmeg, sugar and salt. Set the ingredients aside.
  2. In another bowl, add your warmed milk, egg, melted butter and yeast. Give this a stir.
  3. Add the wet mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer along with the dry ingredients. Mix your dough on high for 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer your dough into a lightly greased bowl. Cover it well using plastic wrap.
  5. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours so it doubles in size.
  6. Sprinkle a light dusting of flour on your work surface and roll it out to about ½ inch thickness. You can use a large 3.5-inch cookie cutter and a small 1.5-inch cookie cutter to punch out the middle. Then, re-roll your dough a second time.
  7. Place your donuts on a parchment lined baking tray with one-inch gaps between them. Let them rest again for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Heat your oil in a heavy bottomed pan until it hits 330F/160C.
  9. Place the donuts in the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan – try 3 to 4 donuts at a time, making sure the oil is bubbling around them. Cook on both sides until they are golden brown.
  10. Set the donuts to cool on a wire rack. At this point, glaze them or eat them as is.

*Every flour absorbs milk differently, so you may need a few extra tablespoons.

Donut Glaze

Ingredients:

250g (2 cups) powdered sugar/confectioners’ sugar

75g butter, melted

3-5 tablespoons of milk (adjust the amount for a thinner or thicker glaze)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Coat the donuts in the glaze.
  3. Place the donuts on a wire rack and let the excess glaze drip off.

Oven Rack Focaccia

Yield: 2 medium trays

Ingredients (pre-ferment for the focaccia):

200g all-purpose flour

200g water

2g dry yeast

Instructions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and let the mixture ferment in the refrigerator overnight.

Ingredients (focaccia):

1000g all-purpose flour

20g fine salt

4g dry yeast

640g water #1

400 gr pre-ferment (from the fridge)

100g water #2

70g extra virgin olive oil

7g Italian seasoning

124g all-purpose flour

105g stuffed olives, sliced (approximately 16 go into the dough)

110g stuffed olives, sliced (approximately 17 can be used as garnish for the next day)

Instructions:

  1. Pour water #1 into the bowl of your stand mixer, add the yeast, pre-ferment, flour and salt.
  2. Knead all of the ingredients at a slower speed for 7 minutes, then for 8 minutes at a faster speed until you can stretch the dough without ripping it.
  3. Add the Italian seasoning into the olive oil.
  4. Start to stream the olive oil into the bowl at a medium speed.
  5. Once the oil is fully incorporated, add water #2 on a faster speed.
  6. At this point, add the sliced olives into the dough.
  7. Remove the dough from your mixer and let it bulk ferment overnight.

The next day:

  1. Let the dough come back to room temperature (it should be ready after about 2 hours).
  2. Weigh out the dough out and split it in half.
  3. Grease your baking tray and line it with a piece of parchment paper.
  4. Roll out the dough to fit the size of the pan or use your hands to stretch it. Leave it at room temperature for an hour.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350C.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and add your second batch of olives (for garnish), salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  7. Bake for anywhere between 25 to 40 minutes (time will vary based on your oven’s heat distribution.
  8. Once your bread is golden brown and hollow when you tap it, it’s ready. Let it cool down for 10 minutes before you cut it and enjoy.
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