Mixing and Extruding

The 750-square-foot sign at the Raleigh store
The Raleigh Krispy Kreme is one of Krispy Kreme's many factory stores, bakeries that make doughnuts for walk-in customers as well as for local grocery stores. All the factory store's ingredients are prepared in a Krispy Kreme manufacturing facility in Winston Salem, about two hours away. In the factory store back room, we found stacks of doughnut mix, sugar, yeast, doughnut filling and other packaged ingredients.

A batch of original glazed starts with Krispy Kreme doughnut mix, water and yeast, the same single-cell fungi used to make bread rise. The yeast is what makes the original glazed so light -- it puffs the dough up with air, so it's not dense like a cake doughnut. (More on this in the next section).

The storeroom

Krispy Kreme doughnut mix

The bakers mix the ingredients to form a dough, which they pour into a hopper. The hopper feeds into an extruder, the device that forms the dough rings that eventually become doughnuts. The extruder machine uses pressurized air to force dough through a ring-shaped cutter -- a cylindrical cutter around another round cutter. Since the cutter forms doughnuts in the shape of a ring, there is never really a cut-out hole in Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

The proprietary extruder machine was the one piece of equipment that Krispy Kreme wouldn't let us photograph. The extruder and the specific dough recipe are guarded trade secrets.

The extruder deposits the ring-shaped dough directly onto a rack conveyer belt that takes the doughnut to its next stop, the proof box.

The Factory Store
The factory store model goes back to the very first Krispy Kreme, established in Winston Salem, North Carolina, in 1937. The founder, Vernon Rudolph, originally set up a doughnut distribution factory without a storefront, but customers kept dropping by asking for hot doughnuts. He built a window into the factory wall and started selling doughnuts fresh off the line.