How to Make Maria's Polish Pączki or Doughnuts

  • 01 of 07

    Here Is What You Will Need to Make Maria's Polish Pączki or Doughnuts

    Polish Paczki or Doughnuts
    Polish Paczki or Doughnuts. © Barbara Rolek

    This recipe for Polish pączki is from Maria Slabodnik Sielewicz of Northwest Indiana. Unlike this Pączki Recipe, Maria's recipe uses whole eggs, and she makes her own strawberry jam to fill them.

    Makes about 50 of Maria's Polish pączki

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups scalded milk
    • 4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature butter
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 packages active dry yeast
    • 6 large room-temperature eggs
    • 8 cups all-purpose flour (more or less)
    • Oil for frying
    • Jam for filling
    • Sugar or confectioners'...MORE sugar for rolling
    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Mix the Dough for Maria's Polish Pączki Recipe

    Making Dough for Polish Paczki or Doughnuts
    Making Dough for Polish Paczki or Doughnuts. © Barbara Rolek
    1. Scald 2 cups milk and let cool to 110 degrees. Transfer to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add 4 ounces room-temperature butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and, using the dough hook, mix until sugar is dissolved. Add 2 packages active dry yeast and mix again until dissolved.
       
    2. Scrape down sides of bowl and add 6 large room-temperature eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition.
       
    3. With mixer running on low speed, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. You may not need all the flour,...MORE or you may need more. Mix until a smooth dough is achieved.
       
    4. Cover and let rise in same mixing bowl in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
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  • 03 of 07

    How to Roll and Cut the Pączki Dough after It Has Risen

    Risen Polish Paczki Dough
    Risen Polish Paczki Dough. © Barbara Rolek
    • When dough has risen, lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Lightly dust your work surface or a silicone mat with flour, and pull out a handful of dough at a time. Roll to 3/4-inch thick. Cut with a 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cutter (no hole in the middle). Transfer cut circles to sprayed pan. Pick up scraps and reroll.
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  • 04 of 07

    Fry Polish Pączki in 350-Degree Oil

    How to Fry Polish Paczki or Doughnuts
    How to Fry Polish Paczki or Doughnuts. © Barbara Rolek
    1. When all the dough has been cut, cover the rounds and let them rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer (usually by the time all the dough has been cut, the first pączki are ready to be fried).
       
    2. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pot and clip on a frying thermometer. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
       
    3. Fry up to 6 pączki at a time for 3 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Flip with a skewer, tongs or a fork (without piercing the pączki), and fry the other side...MORE for about another 3 minutes or until golden, pressing down lightly with a fork without piercing the pączki.
       
    4. Watch carefully, because they can burn easily. Keep your eye on the thermometer and adjust the heat as needed to maintain 350 degrees.
       
    5. Using tongs, remove the pączki to a paper-towel-lined sheet pan to drain.
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  • 05 of 07

    How to Fill Polish Pączki with Jam

    Polish Paczki Draining on a Paper Towel and Being Filled with Jam
    Polish Paczki Draining on a Paper Towel and Being Filled with Jam. © Barbara Rolek
    • When cool enough to handle, use a sharp paring knife or small serrated knife to make a 1 1/2-inch slit in the side of pączki, just large enough for a spoon to fit. Fill with a generous teaspoon of filling of choice (Maria uses her homemade strawberry jam). Roll filled pączki in granulated sugar or dust with confectioners' sugar.
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  • 06 of 07

    Polish Pączki Are Delicious When Eaten Warm

    Warm Polish Paczki Filled with Strawberry Jam
    Warm Polish Paczki Filled with Strawberry Jam. © Barbara Rolek
    • Pączki are delightful when eaten warm but Maria says hers will keep for several days at room temperature. She also freezes them to good effect before rolling in sugar.

    Note: Always use caution when working with hot oil, especially around children. Have a fire extinguisher designed for grease fires at the ready.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Maria Sielewicz Holding a Plate of Her Pączki

    Maria Sielewicz Holding a Plate of Polish Paczki
    Maria Sielewicz Holding a Plate of Polish Paczki. © Barbara Rolek

    In 1943, when Maria was 11 years old, she and her mother were force marched from Poland to Germany where they worked in a hard labor camp. Read more about Maria Slabodnik Sielewicz.