Why do we call them that? They’re made from batter, but I guess you could allow the ‘dough’ part. But what do they have to do with nuts?
The dough does get harder after you deep fry it.
I think you need to expand your definition of “nut.”
It comes from nutmeg?
Sorry, didn’t read it all through before posting. Walnuts or hazelnuts were originally in the center before there were holes.
It was a dough “nought”, nought being an archaic word for “0”.
Beleive it or not I was watching a cooking show today about doughnuts. according to the show originaly they were called oily cakes and the first doughnuts had no hole they were just small drops of dough put into oil. The finished product was about the size of a walnut (maybe hazelnut) and looked similar thus they were commonly called dough nuts, doughnuts. The show was “Home Grown Cooking” on the home and garden network.
“Boy, wouldja get a load of the cloaca on that one”? -Cecil Adams, october 8 1999
Bottom line: Any derivation of ‘doughnut’ would have a hole in it, or otherwise be nutty.