Close-up of powdered doughnuts in a plate. Copyright: Glowimages
A doughnut or donut ( / ˈ d oʊ n ə t / or / ˈ d oʊ n ʌ t / ) is a fried dough food and is popular in many countries and prepared in various forms as a sweet (or occasionally savory) snack that can be homemade or purchased in bakeries, supermarkets, food stalls, and franchised specialty outlets. They are usually sweet, deep-fried from a flour dough , and shaped in rings or flattened spheres that sometimes contain fillings. Other types of dough such as potato can also be used as well as other batters , and various toppings and flavorings are used for different types.
The two most common types are the toroidal ring doughnut and the filled doughnut , a flattened sphere injected with jam (or jelly), cream , custard , or other sweet fillings. A small spherical piece of dough may be cooked as a doughnut hole . Baked doughnuts are a variation cooked in an oven instead of being deep fried. Doughnut varieties are also divided into cake and risen type doughnuts.
Various doughnut incarnations are popular around the globe. Shapes include rings, balls, and flattened spheres, as well as ear shapes, twists and other forms. Not all doughnuts are sweet: in Southern India for instance, savory doughnuts called vadai are served.
Description above from the Wikipedia article Donut
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