Traditional Polish Paczki

Hello Friends, 

Today I share the traditional Polish Paczki. Pronounced "Poonch - kee", these delights are often made on Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras which is the day before Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of the Lenten fast.

Soapsmith's Traditional Polish Doughnut Paczki

1 1/2 cups warm milk - 110 degrees is ideal for the yeast to bloom
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup of room-temperature butter
6 egg yolks room temperature
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon lemon or orange rind
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil for deep frying.

Powder or granulated sugar for dusting

Optional fillings - vanilla custard, lemon curd, stewed and sweetened fruits or jellies.

Dissolve yeast in warm milk, stir and set aside to proof - the yeast mixture should become foamy. I use my kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, brandy, lemon rind and salt until well-incorporated.

Add 4 1/2 cups flour alternately with the milk-yeast mixture and beat well until smooth. You can also do this by hand with a wooden spoon if you prefer. Dough will be quite soft. You can add a little more flour if needed up to 1/2 cup.

Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until filled with air bubbles and doubled in bulk, depending on the warmth of your kitchen this will take up to two hours. Once doubled and airy, punch down and let rise again.

Work on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut rounds with glass or biscuit cutter. Cover and let rise until doubled in size - about 30 minutes. I use my Mom's antique rolling pin - it was gifted to her from an elderly Jewish lady who carried it from the old country in the 1900's. My Mom cleaned her house and Mrs. Rifkin no longer cooked. She loved my Mom's cooking so when my Mom used the rolling pin and liked it she gave it to her in exchange for some cherry pies made from the cherry tree in her yard  We have had it since the early 1960's.  Five generations of goodies have come off of this pin.  Countless pierogi, cookies, pie crusts and more have worn away at this simple, rustic tool worked with love -I cherish it.

Fry the paczki in vegetable oil until nicely browned.  Try to maintain a temp of about 350 to 375 degrees.  If too hot they will not cook through properly.

Drain Paczki on paper towels and sprinkle with powder or granulated sugar while warm. Cool and fill with your choice of creams, custards, lemon curd, fruits or jellies.  

   You can leave some without sugar or glaze them with powder sugar thinned with a little milk and vanilla.

They can be served as is or filled with a variety of fillings with a pastry bag, Here is a nice custard cream filling, you can use fruits and jellies or purchased fruit paste. Prune is traditional but you can use raspberry, lemon curd, strawberry, apricot, cherry, pineapple, poppy seed etc.

Custard Filling for Paczki or Cream Puffs

2 T butter
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter. Blend in corn starch, sugar and salt. Gradually add milk. Heat to boiling over direct heat. Stir into slightly beaten egg yolks. Return to heat and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vanilla. Cool thoroughly. Makes 2 cups. If you want to fill all of the Paczki, you will need to double the cream filling recipe.


Thanks for visiting,


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