Why do donut have holes?

Updated: 11/5/2022
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12y ago

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The doughnut didn't always have a hole! These round, flat, fried cakes were once filled, with soggy centers. At least, that's the way they were eaten when early Dutch settlers brought them to Colonial America.

Then in 1847, a 15-year-old boy, Hanson Crockett Gregory, was in the kitchen of his Rockport, Maine, home watching his mother make these fried cakes. When he asked her why the centers were so soggy and uncooked that they gave him indigestion, she didn't have the answer for him.

So Hanson took some of the uncooked cakes and poked out the centers with a fork. This time when his mother fried them, they were delicious, for the hole let the dough cook more thoroughly, making the cakes much easier to digest.

Today, doughnut makers put their dough into special machines that punch out the centers. The dough is then cooked in a vat of boiling oil until it is a puffy, crisp doughnut.

And the house in Rockport, Maine, where Hanson Crockett Gregory was born, bears a plaque commemorating the day that a boy invented a hole!
So they can be plucked from the hot oil with a rod. Another reason is that the heat can be distributed evenly.
They are easier to make this way.

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9y ago
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12y ago

In the Victorian era, a sailor was eating a donut while steering his ship. He accidently stuck his donut into the wheel, leaving a hole through the middle of the donut. He brought it back to England, where everyone liked it, and patented it as hid own.

Bakers figured out that the dough would be cooked all the way through in a shorter period of time. And the outside wouldn't be over cooked while the center was still raw.

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