Pączki are Polish yeast raised doughnuts and are part of the traditional Fat Tuesday celebration preceding the Lent fast in America. They can be made several ways – plain or filled, dusted with sugar or powdered sugar, large or small – but they are always welcomed. Our recipe is a take on a traditional Polish recipe and is very rich. The small amount of alcohol helps keep the doughnuts light in the fryer and cooks out, but you may use all milk, if you prefer. this recipe makes about 24 doughnuts.
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
8 Tbsp (4oz or 1 stick) salted butter, melted
1 3/4 c warm milk (about 90 degrees)
4 eggs, beaten
2 packages (about 1 1/2 tbsp) active dry yeast
1/4 c vodka, or other spirit (optional, if leaving out use milk)
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2c (18oz or 510 g) Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar (Better Batter corn free powdered sugar coming soon!)
Fillings as desired.
Mix together sugar, salt, butter, milk, and eggs. Stir until smooth and well combined. Stir in yeast and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes, or until yeast is dissolved. Stir again and add vodka and vanilla.
Place mixture in the bowl of your electric stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, add 1 1/2 c Better Batter flour and stir on low until smooth and combined. Set aside in a warm place and allow to proof for 1 – 2 1/2 hours. This should rise and collapse – that is okay.
Add remaining 3 cups of flour and beat on high until thickened, about 4 minutes. Mixture should resemble drop cookie dough and be very sticky!.
Turn out onto a floured surface and coat the surface of the dough (surface ONLY – do NOT knead flour into the dough!) with flour. Roll/pat out dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a floured 3 inch round cutter. Place on a parchment paper sheet covered cookie sheet. Brush off any remaining flour and sprinkle/spray doughnuts with water – this will allow for a maximum rise. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oil in a very heavy cast iron pan or pot to 350 degrees. Oil should be at least 1 to 2 inches deep for best results. Make sure your oil is heated evenly. Fry doughnuts 1 or 2 at a time for 2-3 minutes, flipping when bottom is golden brown, and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. If your oil is too hot the internal dough will not cook when the outside is done – watch your oil carefully! Drain cooked doughnuts immediately on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
You may top with powdered sugar and fill with filling, if you desire (to fill with filling, use a pastry bag to poke a hole in the Pączki and squirt a tbsp or so of filling inside of the doughnut).
These should be eaten the day they are made!