by Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson

by Chronicle Books, $16.95, 144 pages

Few home bakers undertake doughnuts—they are messy, time consuming and rarely can match a good doughnut shop’s products. Yet, if you are into home-fried doughnuts, Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts is perfect for you. The book provides recipes and technique from the authors’ doughnut shop; a big-business shop (1.3 million doughnuts a week!). This small-format, hard-cover, beautifully produced doughnut book gives you everything you need to know in the introduction. The authors divide the recipes into three sections: cake doughnuts, raised doughnuts and old-fashioned doughnuts. The last group is like cake doughnuts with extra leavening, sour cream and frying at lower temperatures and flipping twice in the oil.

The recipes are very good giving you quite a variety in all categories. They are well written; easy to follow yet, you still need a good deep fryer or deep frying pan and an accurate thermometer. Giving both metric and American measurements in the text is distracting. Recipe layout is not very good—for many you flip pages back and forth. Head notes give tidbits of information (many refer to the doughnut shops techniques). The book ends with 14 icings and glazes and, 22 topping suggestions. Index is good, well cross referenced.

Reviewed by George Erdosh,