Polish P¹czki Recipe - Polish Doughnuts Recipe
Barbara Rolek, About.com Guide
Grandma's Polish Paczki
© 2011 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
In the United States, Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, is the day to indulge before Lent begins. In many parts of Eastern Europe, Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent) heralds the winding down of Carnival season. In Poland, this is known as T³usty Czwartek. Polonia in America celebrates P¹czki Day on Fat Tuesday.
P¹czki (POHNCH-kee) are fried rounds of yeast dough with rosehip, prune, apricot, strawberry, raspberry or sweet cheese filling. My busia made them without filling and dusted them with granulated sugar.
Freeze leftover egg whites and save for leftover egg white recipes.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
2 rises: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 51 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen Polish Paczki
1 1/2 cups warm milk (no warmer than 110 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast (remember to proof yeast before you begin)
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature butter
1 large room-temperature egg
3 large room-temperature egg yolks
1 tablespoon brandy or rum
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 gallon oil for deep frying
Granulated sugar (optional)
Confectioner's sugar (optional)
Fruit paste for filling (optional)
1.Add yeast to warm milk, stir to dissolve and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs, brandy and salt until well-incorporated.
2.Still using the paddle attachment, add 4 1/2 cups flour alternately with the milk-yeast mixture and beat for 5 or more minutes by machine and longer by hand until smooth. My grandmother used to beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it blistered. Dough will be very slack. If too soft, add remaining 1/2 cup flour, but no more.
3.Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 hours or follow this Quick Tip to cut the rise time. Punch down and let rise again.
4.Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Pat or roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut rounds with 3-inch biscuit cutter. Remove scraps, and re-roll and re-cut. Cover and let rounds rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer.
5.Heat oil to 350 degrees in large skillet or Dutch oven. Place p¹czki top-side down (the dry side) in the oil a few at a time and fry 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Flip them over and fry another 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure the oil doesn't get too hot so the exterior doesn't brown before the interior is done. Test a cool one to make sure it's cooked through. Adjust cooking time and oil heat accordingly.
6.Drain p¹czki on paper towels or brown paper bags, and roll in granulated sugar while still warm. Note: You can poke a hole in the side of the p¹czki and, using a pastry bag, squeeze in a dollop of the filling of choice. Then dust filled p¹czki with granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar or glaze.
7.P¹czki don't keep well, so gobble them up the same day you make them or freeze.
8.Note: Always use caution when working with hot oil, especially around children. Have a fire extinguisher designed for grease fires at the ready.