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The Donut Book

The Donut Book
by Sally Levitt Steinberg
Storey Publishing, 2004

The author of this book of donut history, trivia, and recipes -- Sally Levit Steinberg -- is the granddaughter of the man who invented the first donut-making machine. Dubbed as "The Donut Princess," Steinberg is the self-styled leading historian and promoter of the ring-shaped, deep-fried pastry.

"Donuts have been my corner of American life ever since I can remember," she writes. "Donuts were around me all the time, beautiful ones in pink jackets or with red and silver sprinkles... Why does the donut invite, tickle, please, suggest? What is this ring I'm ruining by biting? Why does a monk meditate on it? The donut we have in hand we take for granted, until one day we notice. Noticing is what we are here for."

Steinberg takes notice in these page of not only her grandfather, Adolph Levitt, but also the gifted donut makers she has found in her travels across America and the celebrities who love to indulge in their lip-smacking creations.

Illustrated with historic photos, colorful advertisements and drawings, and spiced with both practical and unusual recipes, this enticingly clever text is a fun browse and a mouth-watering temptation.

Look to the back of the book for a directory of North American donut shops, from Allie's in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, to Stan's Corner in Los Angeles.

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The Donut Book

Graham Cracker Donuts

This recipe is from the Herald Tribune Cookbook.
Makes 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/12 cups finely rolled graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
Oil for dep frying
Confectioner's sugar (optional)

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; stir in rolled cracker crumbs.
2. Cream butter; add sugar and egg, beating thoroughly; add flour-crumb mixture alternately with milk.
3. Turn out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick; cut with floured donut cutter.
4. Fry in hot, deep oil (360-370 degrees F) for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, drain on unglazed paper and roll in confectioner's sugar, if desired.

Doughnut Cutter
doughnut cutter

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