Polish doughnuts (Pączki)
In Poland, they are eaten especially on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent). Many Polish Americans celebrate Pączki Day on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, which are forbidden during Lent.
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 packages dry yeast
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup of whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons of rum
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup prune butter (or fruit jam)
- frying oil
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Beat 12 egg yolks with 1 teaspoon of salt at high speed until mixture is thick and piles softly (about 7 min). Separately, add 2 pkg active dry yeast to a bowl containing 1/4 cup warm water to soften.
Cream 1/3 cup of room-temp butter or margarine, gradually adding 1/2 cup of sugar, until fluffy. Stir 1 cup of flour into yeast mixture.
Add 3 tablespoons of rum and 1/2 ccup pre-scalded whipping cream, then beat in another 1 cup of flour and stir in another 1/2 cup of whipping cream.
Beat in another cup flour and the yolk mixture, beating about 2 min. Gradually beat in 1-1/2 cup flour and continue beating until air blisters appear in dough.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise. When doubled in bulk, punch down, cover again and when it rises again, punch it down.
Roll dough out on floured board 3/4” thick. Cut into 3” rounds. Place a spoonful of very thick jam (powidła, rose-hip jam) at center of half the rounds.
Brush edges of rounds with water and top with remaining rounds. Pinch edges together to seal and shape snowball-fashion into balls.
Cover pączki and keep in warm place until doubled in bulk (about 20 min).
Fry pączki in hot (365°F) oil to a nice golden brown on both sides.
Transfer to absorbent paper and let cool.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve as a snack or dessert and enjoy.