For some reason, I’ve always associated Paczki (Polish Donuts) with Easter – as a sinful celebration at the end of lent. A little Googling however, revealed that many prefer to indulge before lent, for Fat Tuesday instead. I guess I hadn’t noticed since I’m usually doing the Pancake Tuesday thing.
So, I may have missed the Fat Tuesday boat but I’m still planning to make a batch of these up for Easter. The recipe was found on the Epicurious forums and comes from a member’s Grandmother, so I’m trusting it to be traditionally great!
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Summary: These are wonderful Polish donuts, traditionally eaten around Easter.
- 1 pkg. dry active yeast (2-1/4 tsp.)
- 2-2.5 cups of scalded and cooled whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks plus one whole large egg
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. salt
- About 7 cups all-purpose flour
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk for 5 minutes. Add about 2 cups flour. Mix and let stand about 1/2 hour- until really bubbly.
- In the meantime, beat the yolks until they are light and fluffy (about 4 minutes).
- To the proofed yeast mixture, add the melted butter and mix thoroughly. Add sugar and mix. Add salt and vanilla. Add beaten yolks. Slowly add reserved flour to bowl in 1/2 cup increments just until a very soft dough forms. Gentle knead in. You may not need all the flour.
- Cover bowl and let rise in warm place until doubled.
- Deflate dough and pat out onto floured board. Gently cut out circles with round-edged biscuit cutter. Place on parchment lined sheet pans, cover and let rise until double.
- Melt Crisco or heat oil to 360°-375° F. Fry until golden on one side, flip and fry the other side. (Do not try to cook too many at a time. Leave plenty of room between then to make turning easy and so as to no reduce the temperature of the oil by adding too many at once). Remove and drain on a cooling rack. When cool enough dust heavily with confectioner’s sugar and/or fill with desired jam or jelly. Filling suggestions: Custard, Raspberry, Prune, Poppyseed, Blueberry, Apple, Lemon, Apricot, Pineapple, Cherry, Cheese, Strawberry. Use a pastry bag to pipe the filling inside.
- They are best when freshly made but If you nuke for 10 seconds the next day we still eat them.
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 15 min | Total time: 2 hours
Number of servings (yield): 12