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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees in large skillet or Dutch oven. Place pączki 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.
- Drain pączki 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 pączki and, using a pastry bag, squeeze in a dollop of the filling of choice. Then dust filled pączki with granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar or glaze.
- Pączki don't keep well, so gobble them up the same day you make them or freeze.
- Note: Always use caution when working with hot oil, especially around children. Have a fire extinguisher designed for grease fires at the ready.
I love Polish Paczki. Being Polish has its rewards. I could eat donuts until I explode. My favorite filling is prune or raspberry.