Polish doughnuts - pączki

Today is Fat Thursday (tłusty czwartek in Polish), it marks the beginning of the last week of Carnival, last week before the Lent and fasting starts. On this day in Poland, there is a tradition of eating PĄCZKI - a kind of doughnuts. This tradition dates back to the 17th century.

Living in Taiwan and not having a bakery which sells pączki on every corner does not mean we can not keep up with Polish traditions. That's why this morning Ania and I made those delicious doughnuts for our family and friends.

The Polish recipe that we followed can be found HERE. Below you can find the English version.

Ingredients (to make about 40 pączki):

1kg wheat flour
21g dry yeast
100-150g sugar
500ml milk
6 egg yolks
1 whole egg
100g unsalted butter
seeds from half vanilla pod
40ml spirit
juice and peel from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt

And also:

shortening (like lard or Crisco or 白油 for frying)
jam for filling pączki
powder sugar for frosting

Directions:

Sift flour into a big bowl and mix it with dry yeast. Add the rest of the ingredients, the melted butter at the end.



Mix everything (we used a mixer with a dough hook) until the batter is smooth and elastic, not too sticky. Form a ball and place it in a big clean floured bowl. Cover it with a clean tea towel and put it in a warm place for about 1.5 hours or until the dough doubles its volume.



Afterwards take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead it with hands for a minute or two. Tear pieces off (about 50g each) and roll into balls. Place them on a flat surface, cover and let stand in a warm place for half an hour.



In a large flat pan heat the shortening to 175C. Carefully place a few balls of dough in the pan. Turn over after they become golden brown. Take out and place on a paper towel to drain and cool.



When cooled use a filling tip to pipe jam into the pączki. Spread some frosting and ... enjoy.



Pączki are best eaten on the same day, but you can store them in an airtight container for a few days and heat them for 20-25 seconds in microwave before serving.

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