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A doughnut, or donut, is a deep-fried piece of dough or batter. The two most common types are the torus-shaped ring doughnut, and the filled doughnut, a flattened sphere injected with jam/jelly, cream, custard, or another sweet filling. A small piece of dough, originally made from the middle of a ring doughnut can be cooked as a doughnut hole. Doughnuts are usually fried, but in rare cases the dough is squeezed into a ball and rested between the rims of an electric heater.

Doughnuts can be formed either by joining the ends of a long, thin piece of dough into


a ring or by using a doughnut cutter which simultaneously cuts the outside and inside shape, leaving a doughnut shaped piece of dough and a doughnut hole from dough removed from the center. This smaller piece of dough can be cooked or re-added to the batch to make more doughnuts. A disk - shaped doughnut can also be stretched and pinched into a torus until the center breaks to form a hole.

Doughnuts can be made using a yeast-based dough (raised doughnuts), or a special type of cake batter. Yeast-raised doughnuts contain about 25% oil by weight, whereas cake doughnuts' oil content is around 20%, but cake doughnuts have extra fat included in the batter, before frying. Cake doughnuts are fried for about 90 seconds, turning once, at between 190 and 198 degrees Celsius. Yeast-raised doughnuts absorb more oil because they take longer to fry, about 150 seconds, at 182 to 190 degrees Celsius. Cake doughnuts typically weigh between 24 g and 28 g, whereas yeast-raised doughnuts average 38g but are generally larger (when finished).

After being fried, ring doughnuts are often topped with a glaze icing or a powder such as cinnamon or sugar. Ringless doughnuts such as fritters and jelly doughnuts may be glazed and/or injected with jam or custard.

There are many other specialized doughnut shapes such as bear claws, old-fashioneds, bars (a rectangular shape), and twists (where the dough is twisted around itself before cooking). Doughnut holes are small spheres that are made out of the dough taken from the center of ring doughnuts or made to look as if they are. They are also known by brand names, such as Munchkin (from Dunkin' Donuts in the United States), or Timbits (from Tim Hortons in Canada). In certain areas of the UK, Krispy Kremes are becoming known for their specialised doughnuts and have opened "drive thru" doughnut stores around the country.

History - Possible origins
Doughnuts have a disputed history. One theory is that they were introduced into North America by Dutch settlers, who are responsible for popularizing other desserts, including cookies, cream pie, and cobbler.

Another story credits the invention of the doughnut hole to a Danish sea captain named Hanson Gregory. During a particularly violent storm, Gregory needed both hands free to man the wheel of his ship, and impaled a fried cake upon the wheel, creating the signature hole. The center of fried cakes were notorious for being undercooked, so the innovation stuck. By cooking fried cakes with the center hole, the surface area increased, and the doughnut cooked faster.

Another possible origin has the dessert's invention as part of the story of Hanukkah. Called sufganiyot, Jews make these pastries (and other oily foods like latkes) to remind them of the sacramental oil that was used to light the seven-branched Menorah in the Temple.

A romantic version says girls created them to give to Johnny Fry as he sped by during the Pony Express in 1860.


Before the ring shape became common, doughnuts were often made as twisted ropes of dough, but in the U.K. were always made into a ball. When cooked, they were injected with jam or jelly and always rolled in granulated sugar. This method is still in practice. When placed into a pot of boiling fat, they floated until the lower half was cooked, then rolled themselves over to cook the other side. Ring doughnuts have to be flipped over by hand, which was more time-consuming. The twisted-rope  type is called a

Doughnuts Being Glazed

cruller in some parts of the U.S., but cruller also refers to a particularly airy type of ring doughnut, usually glazed.

Washington Irving's reference to "doughnuts" in 1809 in his History of New York is an early printed use of the word. Irving described "balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog's fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks." These "nuts" of fried dough might now be called doughnut holes. "Doughnut" is the more traditional spelling, and still dominates outside the US. At present, "donut" and "doughnut" are both pervasive in American English. The first known printed use of "donut" was in a Los Angeles Times article dated August 10, 1929. There, Bailey Millard jokingly complains about the decline of spelling, and that he "can't swallow the 'wel-dun donut' nor the ever so 'gud bred'." The interchangeability of the two spellings can be found in a series of "National Donut Week" articles in The New York Times that covered the 1939 World's Fair. In four articles beginning October 9, two mention the "donut" spelling. Dunkin' Donuts, which was founded in 1948 under the name Open Kettle ( Quincy, Massachusetts), is the oldest surviving company to use the "donut" variation, but the now defunct Mayflower Donut Corporation appears to be the first company to use that spelling, having done so prior to World War II.


Doughnuts may come in many shapes and sizes. Sprinkle(d) doughnuts are doughnuts covered with sprinkles that adhere to the icing. These sprinkles may vary in color and are sometimes offered in holiday schemes (e.g. red and green sprinkles for Christmas or yellow, orange, and black for Halloween).

Regional variations
Traditional Polish pączkiIn the Netherlands, the Oliebollen, referred to in cookbooks as Dutch Doughnuts, is a type of fritter containing pieces of apple and/or dried fruit like raisins; they are traditionally eaten as part of New Year celebrations.

In Lithuania, a kind of doughnut called spurgos is widely known. Sometimes spurgos are similar to Polish doughnuts, but some specific recipes, such as cottage cheese doughnuts (varškės spurgos), have also been invented.

In Poland and parts of the U.S. with a large Polish community, like Detroit, Michigan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the round, jam-filled doughnuts eaten especially - though not exclusively - during the Carnival are called pączki . Russian "пончики", ponchiki and Ukrainian "пампушки", pampushky are the equivalent designations for pączki. Romanian gogoşi are similar to the Polish pączki.

Jelly doughnuts, known as Sufganiyah in Israel have become a traditional Hanukkah food in the recent era, as they are cooked in oil, associated with the holiday account of the miracle of the oil.

In France and in New Orleans, Louisiana, there exists a fried pastry called a beignet, which is sometimes described as a French doughnut.

In Spain and Latin America the churro is a popular fried, doughnut-like pastry.

A popular doughnut in Hawaii is the Malasada. Malasadas were brought to the Hawaiian Islands by early Portugese settlers and are a variation on Portugal's filhoze. They are small eggy balls of yeast dough deep fried and coated in sugar.

In Germany, the doughnut equivalents are called Berliners, except in the city of Berlin, where they are called Pfannkuchen. In southern Germany they are also called Krapfen and are especially popular during Carneval season (Karneval/Fasching) in Southern and Middle Germany and on New Year's Eve in Northern Germany. These do not have the typical ring shape but instead are solid and usually filled with jam. Bismarcks and Berlin doughnuts are also found in the U.S. Doughnuts similar to these are also prepared in the Northern Balkans, particualrly in Croatia and Serbia's Vojvodina province. They are called krofna, a name derived from a German word for this pastry. This type of doughnut is popular in Chile because of the large German community there and is called a Berlin (plural Berlines). It may be filled with jam or with manjar, the Chilean version of dulce de leche.

Italian doughnuts are called zeppole or bomboloni.

Some savory fried items not based on wheat-flour pastry are referred to as doughnuts, such as the ring-shaped Indian vadas, made of lentils.

Chinese cuisine features long fried doughnut sticks that are often quite oily, hence their name: you tiao (Mandarin); these pastries are not sweet. In Cantonese, this doughnut-style pastry is called yow ja guei. Often this is served with the traditional rice porridge of Chinese cooking, congee. Chinese restaurants in the US sometimes serve small fried pastries similar to doughnut holes.

Many bakeries in South Korea offer doughnuts either filled with or made entirely from the Korean traditional rice dessert tteok ( 떡).These come in a variety of different colors, though they are normally in green, pink, or white. They are often filled with a sweet red bean paste or sesame seeds.

To celebrate Fat Tuesday in southeastern Pennsylvania, churches sell a potato-starch doughnut called a Fastnacht (or Fasnacht). The treats are so popular there that Fat Tuesday is often called Fastnacht Day.

In the U.S., doughnuts sometimes incorporate seasonal agricultural products, often made at the farms or orchards, such as maple syrup doughnuts in spring in the Northeast and apple cider doughnuts during the apple harvest. These form an important product of agritourism.

In some parts of Scotland, ring doughnuts are referred to as doughrings, with the doughnut moniker being reserved exclusively for the nut shaped variety. Glazed, twisted rope-shaped doughnuts are known as yum-yums.



Doughnuts and topology
Doughnuts, as ring-shaped items, are an important explanatory tool in the science of topology where the ring doughnut shape (a ring with a circular cross-section) is called a torus or toroid, and an example of using the ring doughnut as an illustrative term can be found in popular explanations of the Poincaré conjecture. The other toroidal food item used in topological explanations is the bagel. However, the bagel has a hole to allow it to be retrieved from boiling water, while a doughnut  hole  is  intended  to allow

Inside a Doughnut

the doughnut to cook faster and more thoroughly. There is no historical connection between bagels and doughnuts.

Jelly doughnuts and politics - Kennedy in Berlin
According to a false urban legend, U.S. president John F. Kennedy made a grammatical error in his statement to the people of Berlin, saying in German: "Ich bin ein Berliner." The legend tells that Kennedy's use of the article "ein" implied that he was not a citizen of Berlin, but "ein Berliner", which refers to a jelly-filled doughnut.

Doughnuts and popular culture
By analogy, doughnut is a slang term for a circular maneuver made with an automobile or other vehicle from a sharp turn in which the rear of the vehicle swings around, the rear tires constantly spinning, to form a larger circle as the front of the vehicle turns in a tight circular motion. "Doughnut" also refers to the small rigid spare tire that comes as original equipment with many new cars.

In North America, it is not infrequent to see police officers taking their breaks at a doughnut shop, which has led to police being stereotyped as pudgy doughnut eaters. While people in many trades and professions work "on the road" and take coffee breaks at doughnut shops, the stereotype exists largely because police officers and their vehicles are identifiable. Police officers may also prefer to visit doughnut shops because many of them serve free coffee to the police. As well, many police officers work late at night, and often the only place to go to get something to eat or drink is at doughnut shops, which are frequently open all night.

Homer Simpson of the American animated television show The Simpsons is an avid consumer of doughnuts (as is Police Chief Clancy Wiggum of the same series).

Per capita, Canadians consume the most doughnuts in the world. Canada also has the most doughnut stores per capita.







This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)

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