Poland: Pączki

While doing some ‘blog brainstorming’ I decided that every now and then I may include an additional recipe from the country that we’ve just cooked from. This could be due to the fact that I had to choose between a few options, or it was too difficult to make, or just that I didn’t think about it until I had cooked the other meal (like in this case).

I definitely have a sweet tooth, so it’s likely that many of my recipes will be desserts of some sorts. I figure I’ll try and cook them at convenient times where I have events to attend, so that I don’t end up eating everything I cook.

While I was in Poland we were told to look out for ‘Polish doughnut type things.’ On this particular day it was raining quite a lot, but I was determined to see everything I could of Krakow the day that I was there. I was patiently waiting for 2pm when Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady  was going to be selling their chocolate for 5 Zloty per 100g (about R20), so decided to walk up and down the nearby streets. I wasn’t particularly looking for doughnuts that day, but was reminded of our tour guides wise words when I stumbled upon Gorące Pączki. I was met with an amazingly friendly and helpful lady who assisted me in choosing a Roza Paczki. In South African terms this was a rose flavoured jam doughnut topped with marmaladey orange zest. Wow wow wow. I inhaled it on my walk to the chocolate shop (did I mention my sweet tooth?).

Paczki

Paczki are eaten on Fat Thursday (wow I love these celebratory days of eating) which is the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and therefore the start of Lent. They were made to use up all the sugar, eggs, fruit and lard in the house before the Lenten season because Catholic fasting tradition prohibited people from eating those items. Nowadays many Polish people all over the world celebrate Fat Thursday and then Fat Tuesday (or Shrove Tuesday).

I found a recipe here that produces Paczki that look EXACTLY like the one above, but it’s in Polish, and I worry about my baking skills at the best of times, nevermind when working off a translated recipe. The best one I found in English is from Instructables.com, and goes as follows:

Ingredients
1 cup ofmilk
60g of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
about 10 g of dry yeast
2 eggs
3 and 1/2 cup flour
candied rose petals

Method

  • Boil together milk and butter until they melt.
  • Add sugar, yeast and eggs. Mix well and gradually add flour and mix the dough until it’s elastic. Leave it in a warm place to double its size.
  • Flatten dough to about half an inch, then cut into circles.
  • Divide circles into 2 equal groups.On one part put about a teaspoon of rose petal jam. Then put another circle on top and stick the edges together. Place the “doughnuts” on lightly floured cloth, cover them with another well floured cloth and allow it to grow for about 30 mins.
  • Heat the oil to a temperature of  about 190*C and fry the doughnuts on each side for about 2.5 min. Place on paper towel to drain oil.
  • Cover in icing and top with some orange zest.

 

I’ll definitely give this recipe a try when I’m not hoping for a ‘New year, new me’ body, so if you get there before me, let me know what you think!

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