In between the rolling hills of Sierockie, Poland, Grandma Zoisa lives quietly in a tiny village with a population of around 500 residents. The Tatra Mountains watch over her small cottage and encourage a crispness from the morning air. Grandma Zoisa rises unhurriedly as the sun kisses the moon goodnight because when the views are this breathtaking, time seems of little consequence.
One of Grandma Zoisa’s favorite things to do is cook for family and friends and her Paczkis (Polish donuts) are a frequent request. Waking to the smell of fresh Paczkis and an enthusiastic dzien dobry (good morning) is magical way to start the day.
Grandma Zoisa enthusiastically offers you a little Polish tradition for your kitchen recipe book and invites you to visit her country. Smacznego!
Paczki (pawnch-ki) – Polish Donuts
600 g of wheat flour (3 cups) + a few tablespoons for dusting
100 grams (½ cup) butter, melted
70 g sugar
2 tsps. vanilla extra
½ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons rum
250 ml of lukewarm milk
20 g of fresh yeast and 10 g of dry yeast
oil for frying
cream pudding or stuffing – optional
1. Sift flour, mix with dry yeast
2. Add the remaining ingredients and knead (yeast, salt, rum, vanilla, sugar, butter, eggs, flour)
3. Knead a few minutes until dough is smooth and soft (you can use a mixer with a dough hook or a bread machine).
4. When the kneaded dough forms into a ball, put it in a lightly floured bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place until double in volume (approximately 1.5 hours)
5. Remove dough and sprinkle with flour
6. Roll to a ½ inch thickness cut 3 inches rounds (you can stuff the dough with cream or jam here or after they are cooked)
7. You can also form a dough ball – let them rise a little
8. After rising, fry the donuts in oil heated to 175 ° C (350 ° F) a few minutes on each side. Be careful that the oil temperature isn’t too high, because the dough will brown too quickly on the outside and the inside will be raw.
9. After frying put on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Stuff with jam or cream, if you have not done this before.
10. Top with powdered sugar if you’d like.