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Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker Hardcover – September 21, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark and Michael Klebeck are construction guys turned entrepreneurs who opened Top Pot Doughnuts in 2002. They live in Seattle.



Jess Thomson is a Seattle-based blogger and freelance writer.

Scott Pitts is a Seattle-based photographer.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 9.1.2011 edition (September 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452102120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452102122
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grandma TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was a girl almost every town in New England of any size had a donut shop, each with their own specialties, and what donuts those were! Nora's Bakery turned out the most stunning cream filled donut - square, with just the teeniest dusting of powdered sugar. Adam's Donuts produced both apple and cherry filled donuts. Some days you had to choose. A donut shop I no longer remember the name of out in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was famous for their Boston Cream Donuts, which they claimed to have invented. And of course there were hundreds more. But then came the national chain and slowly but surely all of those donut shops went out of business. At first all the chain-store donuts - dozens of varieties - were made right in the store, fresh every four hours, and you could stand at a window and watch them being made. Over the years, though, the donuts were made just once a day, then only at certain centralized shops for several chain donut stores. These days who knows when those chain-store donuts were made - or where. The last box I stopped for cost most of a $10 bill and every one of them was stale, so I was delighted to see Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker and couldn't wait to order it. As luck would have it, the book arrived on the very same day that I fetched home a great big bag of the very first of this year's crop of New England apples.

If I do have one quibble with this book - and I do - it is that I had to spend a good hour or so hunting for my reading glasses in order to read the directions, but the results I had were well worth the hunt.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've waited a month to write this review because I wasn't sure how I wanted to do it. What does a recipe book review look like? Is it strictly the quality of the recipes, or do aesthetics count, too? I bought this book for one recipe only - the old fashioned doughnut. I love those from the doughnut shops, and I thought it would be wonderful to be able to make my own. All the other recipes would be a bonus.

However, upon receipt of the book, I found that the type is in a pale gray ink, in a small point font. I am what some people would call elderly (I don't quite feel that way, however) and wear reading glasses. To try to read the recipe I also got a magnifying glass and stood under the brighest light I could find. The fractions were impossible for me to read clearly and that may be why that recipe for old fashioned doughnuts didn't turn out very well.

I haven't tried another recipe because I can't read them. I just don't understand why publishers sacrifice function for form. What's wrong with black ink and a larger font? I've thought seriously about photocopying it enlarged to about 150%; perhaps then it would be legible.

If you have excellent vision then you may be able to make outstanding doughnuts from this book. As published, I can't.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The recipes in this book are great. I have made one of each type of doughnut in the book and each have been different and delicious. If you are not already aware, these are the Starbucks doughnuts. Or, more specifically, the Old Fashioned doughnut in this book is the same recipe as Starbucks glazed doughnut (and the book mentions that they make doughnuts for Starbucks). But that is as far as the comparison goes because a fresh hot doughnut is ten times better and more enjoyable than something sitting behind a glass cabinet for a day. In fact, that is really what this book is all about-the difference between eating a doughnut that is fresh and hot from the oil, glaze still dripping down the sides and one that has been sitting in a case in a store for some unknown amount of time. If you have access to a doughnut shop where you can reliably get a doughnut that is fresh and warm from the fryer then you may not find homemade doughnuts worth your time. But if you have no idea what I am talking about in terms of warm doughnut and are willing to invest a little time, then homemade doughnuts are worth it.

The book emphasizes three basic kinds of doughnuts, and I have made all three: (a) cake doughnuts, (b) yeast raised doughnuts (a traditional glazed), (c) old fashioned doughnuts (the Starbucks doughnut). It then offers a bunch of variations on each theme. Cake doughnut variations include different flavorings for the doughnut itself, including chocolate, spicy, coconut, lemon, etc. plus a variety of topping suggestions. Yeast/traditional glazed include different shapes and also apple fritters. Old fashioned include different topping ideas.

Here are my thoughts after having made cake doughnuts, glazed yeast doughnuts, apple fritters, and old fashioned.
1.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have had the pleasure of visiting the Top Pot Doughnut shop in Seattle and the doughnuts were delicious.
I have tried various internet recipes for making donuts which all have yielded an heavy dense product nothing like what you get in a doughnut shop.
So I gave this book a shot.
I made the triple coconut cake doughnut. It was divine. They were a little difficult to handle due to such a wet sticky dough but I have to say they were the epitome of what a cake donut should be and were far better than 90% of the doughnut shops I've been to.
The directions though technical, are easy to follow but I will say that some degree of baking experience is really needed.
I would suggest a person watch some doughnut making videos on you tube to get a grasp of the process.
I do agree with others that the print could be better....larger and/or darker.
I will post a photograph of the finished product.
Thank you Top Pot for sharing your recipes

Update 6/11/13-I have now made the raised donuts, apple fritters and blackberry fritters. I made 6 round donuts with part of the raised dough and then used the scraps for the fritters which worked out perfectly. The less you handle the dough, the better your product will be and it's very difficult to get a good donut from the scraps. They were fabulous.
I did not use agar for the glaze but you really do not need it. I also made the coconut cake donuts again only this time I rolled the dough in a rectangle and cut it in 1 inch by 5 inch pieces and made donut sticks. I chilled them again before frying because they are much easier to handle. YUM!!
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