It's no secret that we love doughnuts, and less of a secret that at Voracious, we are downright mad for Top Pot Doughnuts. From Laura Onstot's column about doughnuts to Julien Perry's interview with Top Pot owner Mark Klebeck, our passion for fried dough knows no bounds. And for me, a cookbook that peeks inside the inner workings of a beloved Seattle restaurant or bakery gets me hotter than oil in a deep fryer.
Top Pot founders and brothers Mark and Michael Klebeck partnered with local food writer and recipe developer Jess Thomson to write Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker. The book includes recipes for Top Pot favorites like the Pink Feather Boa and Valley Girl Lemon doughnuts, classics such as Bavarian cream bismarks, apple fritters and old fashioned doughnuts, and variations for toppings, icings and glazes that can be mixed and matched with the four "master recipes" for spiced cake, devil's food cake, raised, and sour cream old fashioned doughnuts.
The introduction of the book includes the story behind Top Pot, the history of America's passion for doughnuts and explanations about various ingredients crucial to the Top Pot kitchen that are recommended for the home baker as well. Things like agar to help icings and glazes set and mace to give yeasted doughnuts their unique flavor. There are recommendations for equipment, but tips for improvising with stuff you already have for things like mesh strainers, bench scrapers and dough dockers.
Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts includes master recipes for Spice Cake, Devil's Food Cake, Raised, and Old-Fashioned doughnuts, along with toppings for each, like powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar. The introduction of the book, along with the chapter on icings, glazes and toppings however, encourages you to experiment and mix and match. Try the berry glaze with the old fashioned doughnuts or the maple glaze with the spiced chai ones. There are also fun flavors that Top Pot makes, but doesn't regularly sell like the Cristal doughnut that is topped with a ginger ale glaze and crushed pop Rocks. Best of all though is the recipe for Pershings, the fruitful marriage of a cinnamon roll and a doughnut.
This compact book doesn't use up page space for sidebars or extra story telling. Instead, each recipe includes both weight and volume measurements, cooking time and recipe yield. Some recipes include tips for using up extra dough or cautionary tales to warn you about potential errors you may encounter, so your doughnuts live up to your Top Pot expectations. Jess Thomson is a respected recipe developer and vivid storyteller. For bonus reading, I suggest checking out her behind-the-scenes story about writing the recipes for the book and having to eat lots, and lots of doughnuts.
Meet the authors around town this month and pick up your copy of Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts