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Doughnut Devotion

Ex–recipe tester masters doughnut making.


Photo by Ethan Fletcher

When Hannah Hoffman decided to tackle the world of doughnuts, it was with the same exacting approach she’d brought to her previous gig as a cookbook recipe tester.

“The first ones I tried were good but not amazing,” she says. “I guess it was the geeky recipe tester in me, but I just had this compulsion to make a better doughnut.”

It took her a year to perfect her recipe for European-style handcrafted yeast-raised dough. But the pièce de résistance at Doughnut Dolly, which Hoffman debuted in August in Oakland’s hip Temescal district, is the filling. She makes four kinds—rotating chocolate and jam flavors, plus lemon curd and her signature Naughty Cream vanilla bean crème fraîche—that she pipes to order directly into the doughnuts via German pastry fillers.

If you ask, Hoffman will even combine flavors—although the ex–recipe tester has her limits. “Someone asked me the other day if they could mix Mexican chocolate with lemon curd, and I said, ‘No, absolutely not.’ I’m the boss; I get to do that.”

482-B 49th St., Oakland, (510) 338-6738, doughnutdolly.com.


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