Paczki Time!



     Welcome to Fat Tuesday. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday! It is time for the traditional Paczki celebration. Originally Paczki were made to use up lard, sugar, eggs, and fruit because they were forbidden during the Lenten season. It is a day to indulge in these spherical deep fried pieces of dough filled with a sweet filling, and boy did I. 
     This year I decided to make my own. Making Paczki was a first for me, and so was frying. I have never fried anything in my life and was a little skeptical on how this part was going to pan out. The pastry I figured I could deal with, it is like any other kind of sweet yeasty dough. You beat the eggs, add sugar, butter, yeast, flour, etc... let it rise, punch it down, let it rise, roll it out, cut, stuff, seal and then.... Then you add it to the hot grease. Grease, that I am very unsure of. And the question of "how do you know if the middle is done?" There is not a toothpick test in this situation. After hesitation. I added a little dough scrap as a tester. It sizzled and turned brown. OK, I can do this. After more hesitation, staring into the hot oil, I slid my first couple Paczki into the pot. They puffed and started turning golden. I flipped them over, they turned golden on the other side. Back to the question "How do you know if they are done or not?" I am still not really sure. I know that an oil thermometer helps and when the oil is 365 degrees then it is optimal for frying. A few of my Paczki were a little doughy on the inside, more like tacky. I think that my oil was hotter than 365 degrees. I actually had no idea, for I do not own an oil thermometer. For my first try at both, I think that they turned out amazing. Plus leaving them a little doughy was a bonus, because not all the brandy cooked out of them and the taste was quite delightful. 
     Next year I will definitely be making these again. It was not a difficult process. I did it over a two day time span, refrigerating the dough for its second rise, leaving it over night and then when I came home from work, I removed from the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature while I made dinner. After dinner I punched it down, rolled it out, cut out my circles, placed my filling in the center, sealed with a top, and placed in the hot oil. Drained on paper towels. Then glazed. I let them sit overnight for the glaze to set and packed them up this morning to take to work. It does take time, but the end result is worth every minute of it. Plus everyone will think that you are a Rock Star! I made Apricot, Blueberry, and Strawberry. Flavor with your favorite preserves to make it your own.




        

        

       

       

       

       

       

       


POLISH PACZKI

  • egg yolks 
  • 3 whole eggs
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup rum or 1/3 cup brandy
  • cup scalded whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups preserves 
    • oil (for deep frying)
  • Directions:
    1 Beat eggs and yolks with the salt in a bowl with an mixer at high speed until the mixture is thick and piles softly, about 7 minutes. Set aside.





  1. 2 In a small bowl add yeast w/warm  water.
  2. 3 In another bowl cream butter, add sugar to it gradually, beating until fluffy.
  3. 4 Slowly beat in the softened yeast to the sugar mix.
  4. 5 Stir one fourth of the flour into the yeast/sugar mix.
  5. 6 Add rum/brandy and half of the cream.
  6. 7 Beat in another fourth of the flour.
  7. 8 Stir in remaining cream.
  8. 9 Beat in half of the remaining flour and then the egg yolk mixture.
  9. 10 Beat for 2 minutes.
  10. 11 Gradually beat in the remaining flour until the dough blisters.
  11. 12 Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  12. 13 Set in a warm place to rise.
  13. 14 When it has doubled in bulk, punch it down.
  14. 15 Cover and let rise again until doubled (I did this in the fridge).
  15. 16 Punch it down again.
  16. 17 Roll dough on a floured surface to about 3/4 inch thickness.
  17. 18 Cut out 3 inch rounds using a cookie cutter or glass.
  18. 19 Put 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of half the circles.
  19. 20 Brush the edges with water.
  20. 21 Top with the remaining rounds.
  21. 22 Seal the edges very well.
  22. 23 Cover the paczki on a floured surface.
  23. 24 Let rise about 20 minutes.
  24. 25 Deep fry in the hot fat until they are golden brown on both sides.
  25. 26 Sprinkle with powdered sugar, granulated sugar, or drizzle with glaze. 
  26. 27 Cool

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2 comments:

Sandy said...

They are beautiful!!!!! Look better than any I've seen in the bakery!

March 8, 2011 at 9:18 PM
Ericabee said...

wow! I never thought those paczkis at the stores looked very good so I never tried them. I thought they look just like a jelly donut so whats the big deal? Yours look so much better and makes me actually want to try one!

March 9, 2011 at 8:16 AM

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