Crispy on the outside and soft inside – Polish jelly donuts  (Pączki) are a must on Fat   Thursday! To eat a good donut Poles either stand in queues to pastry shops and bakeries or choose to make pączki themselves.

Making Polish doughnuts is easy, but it needs your time and attention! Homemade doughnuts taste delicious, and you can choose whether you fry them in lard or oil. You can make traditional sweet, and crispy Polish pączki fried in lard or want to make pączki vegetarian or even vegan!

Below you’ll find a recipe for traditional Polish pączki with vodka (!) and gluten free vegan pączki.

POLISH DOUGHNUT – PĄCZKI   

Polish culture is primarily connected with the catholic calendar. Hence, Fat Thursday is a much-anticipated precursor of Lent. It’s the last day you can enjoy deep fried goodies like the greatest Polish jelly pączki (POHNCH-kee). In Poland Fat Thursday is known as Tłusty Czwartek so in the U.S. Polonia celebrates it as Pączki Day.  

WHAT ARE POLISH PĄCZKI?

Pączki are deep-fried supersized mounts of doughy yeast goodness filled with an fruity and creamy fillings. The most traditional ones are these infused with rose marmalade! And if you are Polish you remember the taste of fresh pączki from your childhood! These Polish pączki can be sprinkled with powdered sugar, iced or dunk in chocolate. They are delicious and irresistible!

Fat Thursday in Poland

It’s terribly busy day for pastry shops and bakeries in Poland – they tend to work 24 hours before they open for customers on Thursday morning. In that day Poles eat over 100 million of pączki i.e. 2,5 of donuts for every Pole. So each year on Poles ask themselves the same question: how many donuts am I going to eat this year?

HOW TO MAKE POLISH JELLY DONUTS – PĄCZKI?

On the eve of Pączki Day bakeries tend to work for 24 hours to make make sure they have enough donuts for their hungry clients. 

RECIPE FOR TRADITIONAL POLISH PĄCZKI

Polish donuts pączki

źródło: Fot. Paulina Zdiniak “Polish Pączki”

 

  • 2.2 lbs (0,5 kg) of flour
  • 2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
  • 1/3 cups of sugar
  • 1/3 cups of oil
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • orange aroma
  • rose marmalade
  • 7 g of dried yeasts
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
  • 1 cube of lard

 

HOW TO MAKE TRADITIONAL POLISH PĄCZKI:

  1. Sift the flour into a big bowl and make a dimple in it.
  2. Add yeasts, 2 tablespoons of regular sugar, 3 tablespoons of warm milk and mix it carefully so that a bit of flour gets mixed as well.
  3. Cover it with a cloth and set aside into a warm place for ca. 15 minutes. After that time add egg yolks, egg, the sugars, orange aroma, the rest of milk, oil, and vodka and mix them all together. The only real thing to be aware of is to mix thoughtfully: It’s crucial that the ingredients are fully combined. So using your hand or a stand mixer with a hook work that dough until it’s nice and puffy.
  4. Leave it under some cover for 1h.
  5. With your wet hands form small balls. Flatten then a bit and put a tablespoon of marmalade inside. Close the ball carefully making sure the marmalade stays inside (if you don’t do it well, it’ll escape during frying). Prepared in that way balls put aside on a table sprinkled with some flour. When you prepared all pączki, cover them with a cloth and leave to rise for another 15 minutes.
  6. In a deep pot and medium heat melt the lard – it should be hot, but it shouldn’t be burning. Fry pączki on both sides until they are nice and brown. You may want to check with a thin wooden stick if pączki are fried inside. Take the donuts out and let them rest on a paper towel. Sprinkle your pączki with powdered sugar, drizzle with icing or chocolate. SMACZNEGO!

RECIPE FOR GLUTEN FREE & VEGAN POLISH PĄCZKI  

  • 1 cup of rice flour  
  • 1,5 – 1 & 3/4 cups of millet flour
  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • 160 ml milk (or soya, rice etc.)
  • 3 oz of potato starch
  • 7 oz of russian style cottage cheese or tofu
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • oil for frying

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN GLUTEN FREE POLISH PĄCZKI:

  1. Put tofu, boiled potatoes, soy milk and maple syrup to a mixer and liquidize it.
  2. Mix the flours, potato starch and baking soda in a separate bowl.   
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix them together carefully. Put a linen cloth on top of it and leave the dough for 10 minutes.  
  4. With your wet hands form balls.
  5. In a deep pot and medium heat warm about 0.2 gal of frying oil. The oil must be hot, but it can’t be burning because the inside of donut will be raw! Carefully put pączki on the oil and stir it with a fork, so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

When they are golden brown on both sides take them out and sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate. SMACZNEGO!

Some Poles believe that if you don’t eat your donut on Fat Thursday, your year won’t be good and fruitful. I choose to believe in that and enjoy my portion of pączki! Do you?!