National Donut Day brings wide attention to local baker

Mike Bonito poses with his donuts at The Kobuk. Hillman/KSKA
Mike Bonito poses with his donuts at The Kobuk. Hillman/KSKA

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Friday is National Donut Day, and one Anchorage shop is getting national attention. The Kobuk’s old fashioned donuts were highlighted by Huffington Post as one of the best in the country. Donut baker Mike Bonito is trained as a professional cook and baker, but he says anyone can make a roast. Donuts, though, are different.

“Donuts have lots and lots of little variables that you have to be able to control and to master. And once you get it all figured out, your donut is different from other donuts. It’s a reality.”

He lovingly explains that to get the perfect donut, you have to mind the temperature of the oil, the batter, and even the room.

“Here’s how picky these donuts are,” he says, pointing to a freshly glazed tray. One or two lack the symmetrical lobes. “This fryer has a heating element, but it doesn’t heat at the same temperature all throughout. So, try as I might, I rotate the donut from the front to the back when they’re actually frying, but sometimes I miss one. When you miss one for just ten or 15 seconds at one part of the fryer, it effects it.”

Bonito started baking nearly 40 years ago. Twenty of those have been focused almost exclusively on donuts.