Donuts, donuts or donuts. All of them have in common a delicious flavor and a hole in the whole center. Although the old advertisement for the famous Donuts brand made us believe that if you pointed your index finger at the sky, one of these sweets would fall, the reality is that its origin is related to that fantasy.
Homer Simpson’s bane is not entirely healthy, as it is a sugary fried dough with a wide variety of flavors. But even the fittest homemade versions seek to put a hole in the dough. Why will it be? What is the cause of piercing the center?
The hole allows the dough to cook
Donuts became popular in America around the same time as bagels. Bakers sold bagels stacked on long sticks or tied with a long string, so it can be thought that the origin of piercing the dough is in being able to sell them in a similar way.
However, the theory that makes the most sense dates back to 1847, when an American sailor (Hanson Gregory) was on board a lime trading ship and hated how they were cooked inside. As the story goes, although the exterior and edges of Gregory’s Donuts were crisp, the centers were always raw, greasy, and doughy . That is why the sailor suggested making a hole in the middle of these fried sweets so that the inside will fry as evenly as the outside.
When the batter is placed in a deep fryer, the outside and the edges will cook quickly because they are exposed to the hot oil. To fully cook the inside of the dough, the dough would have to stay in the oil longer, causing the outside to burn. However, by making a hole in the center of the dough we allow everything to cook evenly, creating a perfect donut.
This invention perfected the donut, and consequently many other sweets. For this reason, currently we continue to poke the dough with a toothpick in the center to know if the sweet is well cooked everywhere. In addition, nowadays there are also Donuts without a hole or with a filling , something that makes us think that the technique has been improved over the years.
What happens to the donut hole dough?
Many people believe that those cut out pieces of dough are the ones used to make Donut holes, which are those little round donut balls. They are usually sold independently and are also in different flavors. But are they really remnants of the original dough?
In reality, most Donuts with holes do not have dough cut to shape, as a mold with that shape is used to have the exact hole. There are also special machines that spray the dough in a deep fryer in a circular pattern. The donut holes that we buy at any bakery or supermarket are usually made from a dough simply cut into small squares or circles.