Yield: About 16
Prep time: 90min.
Est. Rising time: 120-180min.
Recipe: Adapted from "Treasured Polish Recipes" For Americans
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 pkg. of active dry yeast
1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
1 t. salt
1/2 t. of nutmeg
1 t. pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
"jigger" of rum
4 1/2 cups of flour + additional for rolling
**Oil or lard for frying
**For finishing: powdered sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, fruit or cream fillings (can be purchased canned fruit fillings in baking isle.)
**Lemon sugar: 1 cup of sugar mixed with the zest of 1 lemon
For dough: Scald the milk and cream on stove top. Remove, and allow to cool to a lukewarm temp. Add the yeast, and allow to set for a few minutes. Begin beating the butter and sugar together, (use a paddle attachment for a Kitchen Aid mixer.) Add the eggs- a little at a time, and beat well until nice and fluffy. Add the salt, nutmeg, vanilla, zest, and rum. **If using a Kitchen Aid mixer, remove the paddle attachment, and place the dough hook on at this time. Then, alternating, add about 2 cups of the flour, and when mixed in, add some of the milk/ yeast mixture. Repeat until all of the flour and milk is combined. Beat the dough well on medium speed, until the dough is smooth, and "tacky", but not too firm or dry.
Remove the attachment, cover the bowl with plastic wrap &/or a towel.
**Allow the dough to rise for a good hour+, or until almost doubled in size. Punch the dough down, cover, and allow to rise for another hour+ until doubled in size again.
Remove the dough onto a floured surface. Punch the dough again, and roll out to about 3/4- 1 inch thickness. Using a round cutter, begin to cut the paczkis out- placing them on a parchment or silicone lined sheet tray. Gather the scraps, work the dough, and re-roll and cut again. When all of the dough is cut, allow the paczkis to rise at room temp. for about 30min. As soon as paczkis are cut, begin heating the lard or oil at this time- either using a deep fryer, or a larger pot on stove top. The oil should be at about 350F for frying.
***If rolling in sugar after frying: place about 1 cup+ of granulated or powdered sugar in a gallon sized ziploc bag, or a shallow pan. (Or use lemon sugar as above.)
**When the paczkis have risen, begin frying them 1-3 at a time. **Make sure to carefully pick up each paczki by the bottom only! Any indentation in the dough will stay after placing in oil! Fry for about 3-4 min. per side- making sure that they are a bit darker in color on each side before flipping- to ensure proper cooking all the way through. Remove, and place on paper towel lined sheet tray to remove excess oil before rolling in sugar. (Paczkis should be lukewarm or cooler before rolling in sugar. Otherwise the sugar will melt/ or won't stick properly.) Repeat until all of the paczkis are cooked.
**If filling: Take some prepared fruit or cream filling, place in a pastry bag with a straight tip. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole in the side of the paczki- making sure not to go all the way through! Stick the tip of the pastry bag in the hole, squeeze and fill until the filling begins to come out of the hole.
These are best enjoyed right away, or within 1-2 days of making!