Prep. time: 30 minutes
Rising time: A few hours in several steps
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For hundreds of years in Poland, people have been celebrating the arrival of Lent by making Paczki (Punch-key). These delicious, jelly filled dough balls are made from the finest ingredients and are covered with several types of sugar or glaze. For Fat Tuesday (Ostatki), the day before Ash Wednesday, the bakers make paczki because they are going to fast for 40 days and they want to use up the ingredients.
Their German neighbors call them Berliner and their Austrian friends, Krapfen.
Pączki may also be fried in oil, but lard produces the tastiest results.
If you are cutting down on animal fats, you can compromise by using a lard and oil combination.
Note: If using electric fryer, set temp. at 185-190 °C / 360-375°F. If frying in stove-top pan and fat begins to burn, add several slices of peeled raw potato which will both lower the temperature and absorb the burnt flavor.
- Dissolve baker's yeast in lukewarm milk.
- Sift flour in a bowl.
- Add dissolved yeast ; mix gently.
- Add egg yolks and whole egg, sugar melted butter and salt. Mix until fluffy.
- Knead well until dough is smooth and it no longer clings to hands and bowl and air blisters appear.
- Cover with cloth and let rise in warm place until doubled.
- Punch dough down and let it rise again.
- Transfer dough to floured board, sprinkle top with flour, and roll out about 1.25 cm / 1/2” inch thick.
- With glass or biscuit-cutter, cut into rounds. Arrange on floured board and proceed in either of the following ways:
- Place a spoonful of fruit filling off center on each round.
- Raise edges of dough and pinch together over filling.
- Roll between palms snowball fashion to form balls.
- Let rise in warm place until doubled.
- Place a spoonful of fruit filling as above on only 1/2 dough rounds.
- Cover each with another round, pinch edges together.
- Roll between palms to form a ball.
- Let rise until doubled in warm, draft-free place.
- Heat lard or vegetable oïl in deep pan so pączki can float freely during frying. It is hot enough when a small piece of dough dropped into hot fat immediately floats up.
- Fry pączki under cover without crowding several minutes until nicely golden on bottom, then turn over and fry uncovered on other side another 3 minutes or so.
- Transfer fried pączki to absorbent paper and set aside to cool.
- When cool, dust generously with powdered sugar, glaze or icing.
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