Why Does a Doughnut Have a Hole?
The hole in the doughnut allows the dough to cook more thoroughly. At first the doughnut didn’t have a hole. It was just a round, flat fried cake. In 1847, Hanson Crockett Gregory, a sea captain, invented the doughnut hole.
He enjoyed “fried cakes,” as doughnuts were then called, but the soggy centers gave him indigestion. He cut holes in the dough before frying so the cakes cooked more evenly, and were more digestible.
The house in Rockport, Maine, where Hanson Gregory was born, bears a plaque commemorating the inventor of the doughnut hole.
Doughnuts became popular in America around the same time bagels were becoming popular. Bakers and street vendors would often sell bagels stacked on long sticks or strung on a long rope. Some people believe that the holes in doughnuts allowed them to be sold in a similar way.
So what happens to all those doughnut holes that are cut out of the dough? Many people believe that those pieces of cut-out dough are what are used to make doughnut holes, which are those little round doughnut pieces that so many kids love to eat with milk.
In truth, though, many doughnuts with holes don’t actually have any dough cut out of them to make their shape. Instead, special machines spray dough into a fryer in a circular pattern.
The doughnut holes you buy at the bakery or grocery store are usually made out of dough simply cut into small squares!