Monday, February 20, 2012

Pączki (Polish donuts)

As I promised here, I am posting the Polish donuts (pączki) I was supposed to make for theTłusty Czwartek, but they just happened one day later and the post 4 days later. I'm still learning on preparing my posts ahead of time.

It was much easier to make these donuts than I thought and I will definitely make them again. I'm sure next time it'll be even easier. During almost the whole procedure my husband was at work. It was finally time to fry the pączki, when my lovely husband came back from work. I was heating up the oil for frying them when he said "But the oil must be super hot, Ka." . Even though the recipe says to heat the oil to 180C, but I don't have a thermometer (and I didn't test with the piece of bread), I decided to trust my husband. Since he is Polish I supposed he should know better than me. First mistake. EVERYONE knows that if the oil is too hot (just like if the oven is too hot), the center of whatever your are making never cooks well. Still, I decided to keep listening my husband. I thought maybe it was different for Polish donuts, who knows? The recipe says to fry each side for about 2 minutes and I was frying mine for about 30 seconds and they were getting brown too fast. When I had about almost all of them fried I decided to try one. Second mistake. Why didn't I just try one in the beginning?

Obviously, they weren't cooked inside and I was blaming my husband for ruining my first Polish sweet experiment. Of course he didn't mean to do that and I know it. :) butI couldn't just throw them away after all the work I put on and here he comes again. "Maybe you can refry them." Great! I "loved" doing this! Let's do it again!! Yay! .... I had no choice.

So there I went to refry all of the ones I knew were fried in "super hot" oil. The ones I used for the pictures were those I fried after, so they turned out in a nice brown and were cooked inside because the oil was on the right temperature. The same happened with the mini donuts, which by the way, I HAD to make a mini version of it. Have I mention I love miniatures? :) However, the ones I refried ended up darker than I wanted, but at least they didn't taste burned and were cooked inside!

I filled them first with fruit marmalade using a pastry bag. It wasn't enough so I used some strawberry jam. I had a little problem filling them because of the pieces of fruit clogging the tip I was using, so it's better to choose a jam with no fruit pieces or just jelly if you are using a pastry bag. My husband and I don't like to eat donuts or pączki and find only a little tiny drop of filling so I was very generous about it. Next time I want to try filling with Nutella, lemon curd or simply a pastry cream with chocolate glaze on top to make the famous Boston Cream, our favorite American donut flavor.

I know they weren't perfect, but for the first time, I was happy with the results. Our Polish friends approved them! Some even said they tasted like their grandmother's pączki!! That's a huge compliment for me and I loved hearing that, even though I think they were just being nice to me :) lol Oh, and my husband approved them too, of course! He said I did a great job saving them! LOL My husband likes to eat pączki with coffee or tea, but I prefer with a glass of milk. :)

So in the end all was worthy it! Next step was getting some pictures. Unfortunately, I had no time to get different angles because the rain was coming, so I had to rush.

The recipe I got from this Polish blog which I love and she got it from here. The original recipes call for bread flour, but I used all-purposed flour and it worked fine to ME. I still have to test it with bread flour to see the difference.

I do know some Polish but I had to use a little help from google translator and I changed a few things to the way I did.


Ingredients for about 35 donuts

150 ml of lukewarm water
310 ml lukewarm milk
2 large eggs slightly beaten
900 g of wheat flour bread
100 g of sugar
100 g butter (melted but not hot)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast (12 g) or 24 g of fresh yeast
1 tablespoon of vodka
marmalade, jam or jelly of your preference


icing sugar

Directions using dry yeast (I used this one)
  1. Sift flour with salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast and mix.
  2. Add the eggs and sugar. Combine the milk, water and vodka and slowly pour into the bowl with the flour mixture. Stir.
  3. Gradually add the butter and knead to combine all the ingredients until you have a nice and smooth dough.
Directions using fresh yeast
  1. Sift flour with salt into a large bowl.
  2. Make a nest in the center and add the yeast.
  3. Pour over part of the warm milk. Add two tablespoon
  4. s of sugar and let stand for 20 minutes to let the yeast "work".
  5. When the time is up, add the remaining milk combined with water and vodka, the rest of the sugar, eggs, adding at the end the butter.
  6. Knead until you have a nice and smooth dough.
  1. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it in a warm place until double in volume, about 1 and half hour.
  2. When the dough has doubled, put it on your working surface sprinkled with flour and knead it a little. Divide the dough in half and keep one half covered so it doesn't dry out.
  3. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1 cm.
  4. Use a pastry cutter or glass to cut out circles with a diameter of about 5 - 7 cm. If you want mini donuts, just use a smaller cutter (I used I shot glass). Place them on a baking tray, cover with towel and wait for them to rise again, about half an hour more. Repeat these steps with the rest of the dough.
  5. Heat oil in large saucepan to a temperature of 180 º C (a piece of bread should brown in 40 seconds). Fry for 3 - 4 pieces (no more) at once, about 1-2 minutes on each side. When fried, transferred them to a plate covered with paper towel for absorbing the oil.
  6. After frying them, fill them with the marmalade using a pastry bag (if you don't have a pastry bag, just use a knife to cut a hole on the side being careful for not crossing to the other side and use a teaspoon to fill with the marmalade).
For the glaze

Add 1 cup of icing sugar into a bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoon of water and stir. Then gradually add enough water to reach the desired consistency. Deep in each donut holding it upside down to let it drop the excess.

That was a long a post!
Enjoy it!


BertiesBakery said...

Now you're talking! These look fantastic!
Every recipe gets easier the more you make it, especially when you're dealing with temps of oils or sugars!
Great job for the first try!