This is the recipe I found handwritten in my Polish grandmother's cookbook. I have since found ones almost identical in Polish cuisine cookbooks. I so looked forward as a child to the Sundays that the Catholic church in Wilno, Minnesota sold paczkis after Mass on Sundays. They were the best treat ever. This recipe takes some effort, but they taste just as good. *NOTE....I'm adding this change after reading the last reviewer's very helpful comment that it tasted too eggy...she's right, it's a very eggy pastry dough. Be sure to use 6 whole eggs instead of the 12 yolks if you don't like that flavor (I know many people don't). It will work just as well, but be more to your taste. I'm so glad she took the time to bring this to my attention....it's something I should have mentioned before.
- 12 egg yolks (or six whole eggs, see note)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup warm water
- 1⁄3 cup room temperature butter
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 4 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1⁄3 cup rum or 1⁄3 cup brandy
- 1 cup scalded whipping cream
- 1 1⁄2 cups preserves or 1 1⁄2 cups cooked prunes or 1 1⁄2 cups cooked apples or 1 1⁄2 cups poppy seed filling
- oil (for deep frying, The old-timers used lard, but vegetable oil will work(I use peanut oil.)
- Beat egg yolks with the salt in the small bowl of an electric mixer at high speed until the mixture is thick and piles softly, about 7 minutes.
- Soften yeast in warm water.
- Cream butter, add sugar to it gradually, beating until fluffy.
- Slowly beat in the softened yeast.
- Stir one fourth of the flour into the yeast mix.
- Add rum/brandy and half of the cream.
- Beat in another fourth of the flour.
- Stir in remaining cream.
- Beat in half of the remaining flour and then the egg yolk mixture.
- Beat for 2 minutes.
- Gradually beat in the remaining flour until the dough blisters.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Set in a warm place to rise.
- When it has doubled in bulk, punch it down.
- Cover and let rise again until doubled.
- Punch it down again.
- Roll dough on a floured surface to about 3/4 inch thickness.
- Cut out 3 inch rounds using a cookie cutter or glass.
- Put 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of half the circles.
- Brush the edges with water.
- Top with the remaining rounds.
- Seal the edges very well.
- Cover the paczki on a floured surface.
- Let rise about 20 minutes.
- Deep fry in the hot fat until they are golden brown on both sides.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with honey.
This is an unnecessarily complex recipe. That's why some people have trouble with it. After making them, my wife and I have three general reactions. The first, and perhaps most important, is that the recipe for the dough is not all that important ... your favorite brioche type dough will do the job. Just make sure it is well kneaded dough to give the final product some structure and the crumb some stringiness. These are too cakey. Secondly, don't put the filling in before hand ... it is easier, and more authentic to do them as full rounds, let them cool (glaze while hot) and fill afterward with a pastry bag. Letting them cool allows the cooked dough to stabilize ... if you put the filling in while the dough is hot, it will collapse and get gummy around the filling. Not too much filling either ... authentic paczki have a wee dollip of filling (2t) just to add a bit of contrasting flavor. Finally, 3, the dough per paczki should be about 2 oz in weight. Large paczki may not cook through. Hope this helps.
This is not a review, since I have not made this Paczki recipe (I am in mortal fear of trying any recipe requiring yeast!) I just wanted to give a FYI that in my husband's family, his Busia (grandma) would sterilize some pennies and dimes and place them randomly in various Paczki! The children would be screaming with joy if they got one of the "lucky Paczki"!
Great - definitely worth reading through everyone's tips ahead of time. I went with the six egg version and my family loved this.