A donut divided against itself cannot stand
February 22, 2011 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Why is there a split along the top of an old-fashioned donut.

This is by far the dumbest question I've ever posted on MeFi.

When I lived in Seattle I was addicted to Top Pot's old-fashioned donuts. Why is there that split along the top of the donut?
posted by bamassippi to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Because it's made fron a heavier, less stretchy dough than your usual doughnut, and as it cooks and the dough rises, the more-cooked outside cracks rather than stretching.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:32 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Riffing on what AzraelBrown said, an old-fashioned donut is basically a quick bread (like banana bread) which also sometimes crack along the top.
posted by cabingirl at 7:42 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

That is what makes it the bestest most delicious donut on the planet.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:49 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

The Top Pot Old-Fashioned doughnut is a sour cream cake doughnut, cooked at a lower temp for a longer time.

A cake doughnut uses chemicals for leavening - baking powder and soda, which react with an acid (the sour cream, in this case) to form bubbles (as opposed to a raised doughnut, which uses yeasted dough).

When the doughnut hits the oil, the outside sets, but the inside keeps growing. It pushes up and out past the outside shell where it can - that is, the top, which is the weakest spot (it's the side of the doughnut peeking a little out of the oil). That makes a crack. Same reason why quick breads crack along their tops, in the weaker middle.

A cake doughnut is usually fried hot and quick, but the old-fashioned is cooked cooler and longer, giving the doughnut less heat with which to set a crust and more time in which to grow.

Incidentally, the longer/cooler cooking time also means the doughnut absorbs more oil, which makes it (while hot) more delicious.
posted by peachfuzz at 11:25 AM on February 22, 2011 [6 favorites]

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