National Doughnut week
10Th - 17th May 2014 is National Doughnut Week (UK)
Sponsored by The Children's Trust, a
Most of us associate doughnuts
(sometimes shortened to donuts) with the USA, but fried dough has been eaten many
European countries for hundreds of years, and possibly for as long as bread has
been made : certainly well before the "new world" was colonised. So, it's a European
invention? Well, perhaps not. Here comes the spanner in the
Whilst it's true that the Puritans took a
doughnut recipe with them to the US which they discovered during their stay in
Holland, they did arrive to find that the Native American Indians were also preparing and
cooking a form of doughnut. Unfortunately, how long they'd been preparing
them is very difficult to say. So let's get back to what we definitely know.
Doughnuts in Europe.
Holland, Germany and France ,
fried "cakes" enjoy a long history and have, over the years, been particularly
associated with Christmas and/or Lent. In Holland (Ollie-bollen) they were
traditionally shaped into decorative knots and rolled in sugar; in France
(beignets) they were round or square
shaped and also liberally sprinkled with icing or powdered sugar and in Germany
(fastnachtkuches or Berliners) they were often filled with jam, as they are in the UK.
On the other hand, the ring doughnut as we know
it, is generally credited as being a US invention, despite the fact that
many holed European fried confectioneries already existed. Although John Blondell got the patent for the first ring doughnut cutter in 1872, it is
thought to have been the idea of one Mason Gregory who was a sea captain. The
story goes that he didn't like the stodgy dough in the centre of the usual round
doughnuts: most likely he was just impatient for them to cook through properly, so he punched a hole in the
centre with a tin pepper box. The story is is further elaborated saying he
would then place the doughnut onto the ships wheel to keep it safe.
By the way, the 1st Friday in June is National
Doughnut day in the US and was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army
to raise funds during the Great Depression.
Many other countries also have their own versions
of doughnuts. Local equivalents include Sufganiyah from Israel, zooloobiya from Iran
and further afield Sata andagi from Japan,
Donat Kentang from Indonesia and koeksuster from South Africa.
In support of The Children's Trust's objectives,
we are not going to feature a recipe for home made doughnuts on this page
because the aim is to encourage you to buy them from participating bakeries.
However, why not buy lots more doughnuts than you can eat in one day, then
try the recipe below - an adapted version of Bread Pudding using stale (1-2 day
old) doughnuts. It's all for a good cause!
Veg HT CD DP
soaking and cooling
Cakes baked Fayre Desserts
225g/8oz Jam or Plain Ring Doughnuts or Yum Yums (bought
from a participating bakery - see
for a list)
100g/4oz Soft Brown Sugar
1/4 teasp Mixed Spice
tbsp Brandy or Sherry (optional)