Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

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.


The Muppet Show – How Swedish Chef Makes Donuts

Friday, April 30th, 2010

It is somewhat of an odd obsession, being the Fried Dough Ho, to find humorous doughnut bits now being forwarded to me from friends and readers. And it is my sincerest plan to ultimately share each and every one over time. I’ll admit to having been a Muppet Show fan in my youth. I liked the crazy old guys in the balcony, Statler and Waldorf. I had a Rowlf The Dog hand-puppet. And everybody liked Kermit.

And then there is Swedish Chef. For those who don’t know, he was designed by the Muppet factory as a parody of televisions chefs (long before there were celebrity chefs). Much of the humor lies in the fact that his vision is almost completely obscured by his bushy eyebrows and toque blanche. Unlike most other Muppets, you can actually see human hands protruding from the character’s costume. How else to handle actual cooking implements?

The other hilarious part for me is Chef’s song, which he sings at the beginning of each episode. Mostly incomprehensible, Swedish-sounding gibberish, the song is never quite the same but always finishes out with the barks of “Börk, börk, börk!” before the Chef flings the utensils aside and starting in on his culinary endeavor. I hope you enjoy today’s offering!