Why Do Donuts Have A Hole In The Middle?

Oh, our beloved doughnuts. Tasty, fluffy, sweet and most importantly, a part of our tradition. One thing i’ve always wondered though is why do they have that big hole in the middle. Does it serve any purpose or is it because… bakers were just making them that way?

Let’s look at the facts.

There are several theories on the issue but the most dominant one is that of Captain Hanson Gregory. Apparently Hanson added the hole in the middle so doughnuts could be cooked evenly. Having a hole in the middle allows both the inside and the outside of the dough to be cooked evenly since they’re exposed to the hot oil. There are many versions on his story, but here’s the story from his own words as published in the March 26, 1916 edition of the Washington Post: (the article continues after the ad)

“Now in them days we used to cut the doughnuts into diamond shapes, and also into long strips, bent in half, and then twisted. I don’t think we called them doughnuts then—they was just ‘fried cakes’ and ‘twisters.’

Well, sir, they used to fry all right around the edges, but when you had the edges done the insides was all raw dough. And the twisters used to sop up all the grease just where they bent, and they were tough on the digestion.

Well, I says to myself, ‘Why wouldn’t a space inside solve the difficulty?’ I thought at first I’d take one of the strips and roll it around, then I got an inspiration, a great inspiration.

I took the cover off the ship’s tin pepper box, and—I cut into the middle of that doughnut the first hole ever seen by mortal eyes!

…Well, sir, them doughnuts was the finest I ever tasted. No more indigestion—no more greasy sinkers—but just well-done, fried-through doughnuts.”

There are also other theories that to be honest, don’t make a lot sense. For example, one of them states that the hole was added because one seafarer had a difficult time of steering his vessel and eating his fried cake at the same time. That’s why he impaled the cake on the ship’s wheel, therefore creating a finger hold to grip the cake. Yes, it’s a fascinating story but i personally, find it hard to believe.

Even though we can’t be 100% sure, Hanson Gregory’s is the most plausible theory and the one people tend to agree upon.  

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is Why Golf Balls Have Dimples 


Main Article Photo: cbaquiran / Pixabay
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie

Sources: Why do doughnuts have holes?DOUGHNUT HOLE INVENTOR TELLS JUST HOW DISCOVERY WAS MADE AND STOMACH OF EARTHS SAVED