Archive for the ‘Polish’ Category

Polish Doughnuts – The Joy of Pączki

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

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As part of the planned events surrounding the Birthday of The Ho was my abject desire to fry my own dough for the first time. At first, I thought of just trying some basic recipe just for experimentation purposes. Then I stumbled upon a Polish festival and learned about a glorious fried dough known as Pączki. I learned that the incredibly rich, egg-based, alcohol-laden pastries are rarely seen these days, even in “the old country.” The Poles I spoke with told me that because of the need for mass-production, very few pastry shops even bother with the authentic recipe and I knew that I had to. I hunted around and found what seemed a fairly decent recipe…

12 egg yolks (or six whole eggs)
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 fine granulated sugar
4 1/2 cups all purpose flower
1/3 cup rum or brandy
1 cup scalded whipping cream
1 1/2 cups preserves or cooked prunes, cooked apples, or poppy seed filling

oil for deep frying

1. Whisk egg yolks with salt with electric mixture on high until it lightens, approximately 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Please yeast in warm water to soften.

3. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until sugar completely dissolves and mixture is light and fluffy.

4. Slowly add in the softened yeast.

5. Stir in one cup of flour with the rum/brandy and half the cream. Continue stirring until smooth.

6. Add another cup of flour and the remaining cream, beat until smooth.

7. Add another cup of flour with the egg mixture and beat until well-blended, at least two minutes.

8. Continually add in the remaining one-and-one-half cup of flour while blending until the dough begins to blister.

9. Cover and set in a warm place to rise, until dough has doubled in bulk.

10. Punch down and let rise again, until doubled in bulk.

11. Roll the dough out to 3/4 of an inch thick and cut into 3″ rounds.

12. Place a tablespoon of filling the center of one circle and top with a second circle. Seal with a bit of water.

13. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover, and let rise another 20 or 30 minutes.

14. Heat oil to 350º and fry the paczki  until they are golden brown on both sides.

15. Drain and sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with honey.


Polish Fried Dough – Pączki

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

It was a pretty special day. Actually, it was pretty mundane as I was at home working on some jewelry when I glanced through the day’s events online, only to discover there was a Polish Festival going on at that very minute in Golden Gate Park. I had to get there fast — it was already 2:00 in the afternoon! The trip was a total gamble. I checked out a car and drove pell-mell through the streets of San Francisco, hoping against hope that part of the traditional foods being offered at the festival might be Pączki, the Polish version of a jelly doughnut. When I arrived, there was a long line of people waiting to get into the building. I got in that line and waited too — then I noticed a guy who just sauntered by and just walk in. I asked the security guard what the line was for (assuming it was the entrance) and was told it was for food. Before I am going to spend an hour in line for food, I at least wanted to see if they had what I was looking for…

The line for hot food was incredibly long. Upwards of an hour plus, if not longer. It winded its way into the large room with banquet tables where many were already feasting on boiled dumplings, sausages, and more. But then I saw it – up against the back wall was a very long table set with sweets. Fortunately, that table didn’t require the tickets that were sold for the hot food and a young girl — probably 9 or 10 years old — was taking cash for the desserts.

What I was looking for came au natural (no filling) or with plum filling. And nearby, I saw a gentleman working furiously to fill these Pączki. And very fortunate for me, Edmund was more than willing to help me learn more about this ethnic specialty. (more…)