These Polish doughnuts resemble jelly doughnuts but are made with a richer dough. Made in Poland since the 1500s, paczki are linked with the country’s Fat Thursday holiday, prior to the religious fasting season of Lent. Eating paczki is believed to be good luck, with traditional flavors of rose jam and plum preserve most popular. Polish immigrants to the US, particularly in Chicago and Detroit, brought this tradition with them. In the US, the filled doughnuts are now associated with Fat Tuesday—also called Shrove Tuesday—and Mardi Gras celebrations and come in a wide variety of flavors.
Recipe Servings: 12
+ 1 hour 10 minutes resting
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
- Add in the warm milk, stirring, then the oil, egg yolks, and vanilla.
- With an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes on high speed.
- Add flour as needed for the dough to hold together, then, on a floured surface, knead the dough 50 turns.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes.
- Prepare a large baking sheet, lining with parchment.
- Working on a floured surface, roll the dough out to ½ -inch thickness.
- Cut into 2 ½ -inch rounds, re-rolling the scraps.
- Place the rounds on the baking sheet and let rise, covered with a towel, in a warm place for about 45–60 minutes at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- When the rounds have risen but not yet doubled in size, bake them for 10 minutes.
- Place ⅓ cup sugar in a plastic bag and melt butter.
- Working on a surface covered with wax paper, transfer the paczki, brush the top and sides with the melted butter, and roll in the bag to coat with sugar.
- Fill a pastry bag with a long tip with jam or custard as desired.
- Push the tip into the paczki and fill.
- Serve while still warm.
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