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There are 5 elements that create the perfect doughnut. The following guide will outline the vital components of the world’s greatest dessert (with pictures!). The following data has been painstakingly collected from across the globe. I’ve selected, devoured, instagrammed, and digested countless doughnuts, sacrificing calories to create the following ultimate and conclusive report for all of you.

 

D10

 

1. Freshness

A basic tenant of all good food, it is especially true for doughnuts. Doughnuts are sensitive baked goods; their shelf-life is short and precious. Thus, freshness is key. The truly devoted should circle the block waiting for the hot-light to come on at Krispy Kreme. At other establishments that do not provide such a useful and vital signal such as the hot light, don’t be ashamed to ask if there are any fresh ones coming out soon. Freshness is a prerequisite for the remaining qualities – without it, all hope of a perfect doughnut is lost. If it requires effort to bite into a doughnut and remove a bite from the remainder of the pastry, then a problem has occurred. If icing flakes off in a mess of dried flakes, then a problem has occurred. If – god forbid – the doughnut smells like nothing, then a very serious problem has occurred.

 

D1   D18   D5

 

2. Moisture

The second pillar of doughnut perfection is moisture level. Don’t be misled – there are several different ways a doughnut can meet this requirement. Not all doughnuts are the same, and there is beauty in variety. Your traditional glazed doughnut must be moist in the traditional sense. Gooey icing. Buoyant but slightly buttery interior mass. However, the cake doughnut should also meet this requirement. A difficult balance must be achieved; a firm and lightly crisp exterior must easily give way to an interior that does not have any visually moist components yet literally “melts in the mouth” upon consuming. However, do not be fooled! Excellent glaze does not necessarily imply moisture. The doughnut is the whole package, and the relationship between the exterior layer and interior dough is an integral part in creating moisture. Thus this is the second component of the perfect doughnut.

 

D16

 

3. Visual Delight

Doughnuts are not a purely gustatory experience, but also an ocular experience as well. The doughnut being consumed must have visual delight. This can present itself in many forms: a doughnut piled with an obscene amount of sprinkles, icing cooled in the perfect drip shape, sugary crystals formed on the surface, a pleasing visual relationship between hole diameter and outer circumference, or expert linework in icing decoration.

 
D11   D12   D13

D17

 

4. Curvature

Doughnuts are wonderful not only because they are delicious, but also because of their shape. A doughnut is made of two circles, nested within each other. The repetition and circular form are incredibly pleasing to the human eye. But perfection does not lie only with the doughnuts that are flawlessly round with perfect proportions. Other doughnuts that have imperfect shapes can be even more pleasing. A pucker, a fold, or a pinch of dough give the doughnuts life. As has been said by many, there is perfection in imperfection.

 

D15   D22   D6

 

5. Surprise

Finally, doughnuts must contain an element of surprise. Whether that is an unusual topping, a creative shape, or something else, a doughnut cannot be mundane. The surprise component of the doughnut may even be as simple as finding yourself walking past a doughnut truck, stopping, and eating the best doughnut of your life, or waking up in the morning to a dozen doughnuts in a box on the kitchen counter. Unexpected doughnuts are the best kind of doughnuts.

 

D2   D8   D19D4   D7   D14

 

In conclusion, I hope that these 5 elements help you select your next perfect doughnut in the very near future!

 

Best doughnuts I’ve ever eaten:

   1.   Apple Cider Doughnut from a doughnut truck on a street in Brooklyn

   2.   Krispy Kreme Original Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles

   3.   Homemade blueberry doughnuts on an island off the coast of Maine

   4.   Sweet Bread from Japan

   5.   Dunkin’ Doughnuts chocolate cake doughnut holes