Polish pączki

I’ve just returned from an amazing trip to Poland where I visited large cities like Wrocław (pronounced vroot-suave) and Krakow (pronounced crack-oov). I also visited smaller towns, including Zdrójs (pronounced z-droo-i), meaning sources, Ibramovich, where we visited a closed monastery as well as Zakopane, a resort town in the south of Poland, near the Tatra mountains, bordering Slovakia.

The trip was amazing, and the food was delicious!  The pastries that I bought over and over were pączki (pronounced p-own-sh-key). These are polish doughnuts with a yeasted, enriched dough (containing both eggs and butter), filled with jam, traditionally rose or plum jam.

When I returned to Canada, I made it my mission to replicate these rich, yeast, yet fluffy doughnuts. So I created spiced rhubarb pączki!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. warm water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tsp.  sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. warm milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup spiced rhubarb jam
  • oil for frying

Method:

  1. In small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and milk with 1 1/2 tsp. sugar. Allow to activate for 5-10 mins until frothy.
  2. In large bowl, whisk remaining sugar, yolks, salt and vanilla until sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens to a ribbon-like consistency.
  3. Add melted coconut oil, flour and yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Knead the dough 10 mins until forms a soft ball.
  5. Place in oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for 2-3 hours in a warm place.
  6. Roll out dough to 2cm thickness.
  7. Cut into 10cm diameter circles with cookie cutter*.
  8. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour in warm place.
  9. In small heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil to 350-360F.
  10. Fry the dough for 3 mins on each side or until golden brown.
  11. Cool on rack covered in paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  12. Pipe jam of choice into the pączki**.
  13. Enjoy!

 

*Alternatively, you can use the rim of a glass or jar. Ensure to flour it to avoid the dough sticking.

** Often, the dough is folded over the filling before the second rise and frying.

 

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