Today in Poland we celebrate ”Fat Thursday’, (Tłusty Czwartek) which marks the end of Carnival. The tradition is to eat at least one doughnut, known as Pączki, some say you have to eat at least three!
Fat Thursday marks the end of Carnival, and beginning of Lent here in Poland.
I bought a dozen doughnuts (Pączki) yesterday which I thought was reasonable, but Oh No! my wife informed me that was just for Breakfast!! – She was right, they were gone by 9am….
What are Pączki?
Traditional Pączki are doughnuts which are deep fried, made with yeast dough and filled with rose petal jam. Often the recipe in the most popular bakers is a closely guarded family secret passed down through the generations.
The big supermarkets, here in Poland, are of course doing their bit, with one offering 22 varieties of doughnut, whilst another is giving 4 free Pączki to each customer.
The best Pączki bakers have long queues , and longer order lists, on Fat Thursday.
One option to avoid the long queues, or disappointment of empty shelves, is to make your own.
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Makes about 20 to 24 pączki
Traditional Polish pączki – yeast doughnuts filled with fruit preserves (rose jam) topped with icing or icing sugar.
2 cups whole milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
4½ teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
¾ cup + 1 pinch granulated sugar, divided
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Peanut oil, canola oil or lard, for frying
Fruit preserves, for filling
Powdered and granulated sugars, for coating
9. Allow the paczki to cool until you are able to handle them easily. Using a filling tip, pipe fruit preserves into the sides of the paczki, then roll in sugar. The paczki are best the same day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
A Scot in Kraków. The founder and editor of Kraków Expats Directory, and our sister site Kraków TV www.krakowtv.pl.
David fell in love with Kraków 23 years ago, making it his home in 2011. In 2020 he was awarded the title of Kraków’s Ambassador of Multiculturalism, by the President of Kraków.
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