What Is the Difference Between a Bagel & a Donut?

Written by natalie schwab
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What Is the Difference Between a Bagel & a Donut?
Donuts, like bagels, make a great on-the-go breakfast. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Bagels and doughnuts have a strikingly similar shape, but they certainly don't taste the same. So, what makes these two delicious breakfast options so different? It isn't just the sprinkles. The way they're cooked and their toppings make these holey foods quite different.

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How A Bagel Is Made

A bagel begins as very stiff dough made from bread flour or high-gluten flour shaped into its holey form. Bagels are boiled for one or two minutes to gelatinise the starch, which gives them the chewy texture that sets them apart from doughnuts. They then go into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 260 degrees Celsius to crisp the outside and give them a crunch.

Bagel Toppings

Bagels come in many flavours like cheddar cheese, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, onion and more. They're often coated with sesame seeds, poppy seeds and garlic, then loaded with soft cream cheese -- which also comes in many flavours, like sun-dried tomato and basil, spinach and artichoke and blueberry. If you want to enjoy your bagel a little differently, top it with smoked salmon or smash an egg and cheese between two to create a breakfast sandwich.

How A Donut Is Made

Donuts are made from a lighter dough leavened with yeast or chemicals. The mixture is shaped into a ring, then dropped into hot oil for about 45 seconds. Frying allows the outside to crisp and the inside to stay soft and fluffy. Donuts made with baking powder have a heavier, cake-like texture.

Doughnut Toppings

Donuts are often glazed or filled with different types of jelly or creme and come in flavours like chocolate, blueberry, lemon and maple. They're often slathered in frosting of many varieties and topped with an array of colourful sprinkles. The result is a picturesque, mouthwatering treat.

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