Paczki (say: “p’own-ch-key”) are my childhood staple. My Mom only ever made them one time a year, right before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras as it’s known in NOLA) was the last day when you got to indulge in all those good, delicious (but bad for you) things before you gave them up for 40 days of Lent.
Paczki are delicious, yeasty, jam-filled, fried doughnuts from Poland. In my childhood neighborhood, we had plenty of Polish bakeries around that sold paczki, but I always loved my Mom’s version best. Her’s were smaller than the bakery version, so you could eat more of them! 🙂 My Mom made her version with rose jam, or cherry jam, or plum jam. My favorite was (and still is) the rose jam version. Here in Boston, I’ve found rosehip jam at the local Russian stores (there is a larger Russian community than a Polish one), but you can also order it on Amazon if you can’t find it in the store.
Paczki (Polish jam-filled doughnuts)!
Paczki are delicious, yeasty, jam-filled, doughnuts from Poland. For me they’re a childhood staple!
Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Yield: 1 dozen doughnuts
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- pinch of sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 4 oz butter
- 4-5 cups of flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Vegetable or olive oil, for frying
- Your choice of jam: Cherry, Plum, and Rosehip are traditional, but you can use any flavor
- powdered sugar, for topping
- Add warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer, plus yeast and a pinch of sugar. Mix well and let sit for 5-10 minutes to proof.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat, until the butter is just melted. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Add the dough hook to the mixer.
- Add 4 cups of flour (reserve the last cup to add as needed), the sugar and salt and mix on medium to combine.
- Add in the yolks, the milk/butter mixture, and the vanilla.
- Mix on medium until a ball of dough forms (if needed, add some of the reserved flour in small increments until the ball forms and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl), then turn to medium-high and knead for 8 minutes.
- Let the dough rest and rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Dough will double in size.
- Turn out the dough onto a cutting board or clean countertop. Roll out dough into a rectangular shape, about 1 inch in thickness. Use a 2-inch diameter glass to cut out circles in the dough.
- Add up the scraps of dough and free-form balls of dough. Add your choice of jam to the middle, and close them up, like dumplings.
- Let the dough rest another 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, add 2-3 inches of oil to a large, thick-walled pot and heat over medium heat. Use a candy thermometer to measure 350*, or add a small drop of water to the oil. If it bursts (be careful of splatters. Don’t get burned!), the oil is hot enough.
- Add the dough one piece at a time to the oil, and fry 2-3 at a time.
- Fry on one side for 3 minutes, then use a spoon to flip and fry on teh other side for another 3 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to fish out the doughnuts and place on a paper-towel lined plate to cool.
- To add jam to the doughnuts that you cut with the glass, make a small hole on one side with a knife. Pipe in the jelly.
- Coat with powdered sugar as a finishing touch. Serve immediately, or freeze for storage. To serve from frozen, defrost in the microwave for 30 seconds.