How to Make Polish Pączki or Doughnuts

  • 01 of 06

    Gather Your Ingredients

    paczki
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    This recipe for Polish pączki is from Maria Slabodnik Sielewicz of Northwest Indiana. Unlike other pączki recipes, Maria's recipe uses whole eggs, and she makes her own strawberry jam to fill them.

    This recipe will make about 50 of Maria's Polish pączki.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups scalded milk
    • 4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature butter
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 packages active dry yeast
    • 6 large room-temperature eggs
    • 8 cups all-purpose flour (more or less)
    • Oil for frying
    • Jam for filling
    • Sugar or confectioners' sugar for rolling
    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Mix the Dough

    Mix the Paczki dough
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Scald 2 cups milk and let cool to 110 degrees. Transfer to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add 4 ounces room-temperature butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla and, using the dough hook, mix until sugar is dissolved. Add 2 packages active dry yeast and mix again until dissolved.

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 6 large room-temperature eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.

    With the mixer running on low speed, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. You may not need all the flour, or you may need more. Mix until a smooth dough is achieved.

    Cover and let rise in the same mixing bowl in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    How to Roll and Cut the Dough

    Cutting out the Paczki
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    When the dough has risen, lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Lightly dust your work surface or a silicone mat with flour, and pull out a handful of dough at a time. Roll to 3/4-inch thick. Cut with a 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cutter (no hole in the middle). Transfer cut circles to the sprayed pan. Pick up scraps and reroll.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Fry in 350 F Oil

    Frying the Paczki
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    When all the dough has been cut, cover the rounds and let them rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer (usually by the time all the dough has been cut, the first pączki are ready to be fried).

    Pour about 2 inches of oil into a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pot and clip on a frying thermometer. Heat oil to 350 F.

    Fry up to 6 pączki at a time for 3 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Flip with a skewer, tongs or a fork (without piercing the pączki), and fry the other side for about another 3 minutes or until golden, pressing down lightly with a fork without piercing the pączki.

    Watch carefully, because they can burn easily. Keep your eye on the thermometer and adjust the heat as needed to maintain 350 degrees.

    Using tongs, remove the pączki to a paper-towel-lined sheet pan to drain.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    How to Fill Polish Pączki With Jam

    Filling the Paczki
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    When cool enough to handle, use a sharp paring knife or small serrated knife to make a 1 1/2-inch slit in the side of pączki, just large enough for a spoon to fit. Fill with a generous teaspoon of filling of choice (Maria uses her homemade strawberry jam). Roll filled pączki in granulated sugar or dust with confectioners' sugar.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Polish Pączki Are Delicious When Eaten Warm

    Finished paczki
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Pączki are delightful when eaten warm, but can be kept for several days at room temperature. You can also freeze them to good effect before rolling in sugar.

    Note: Always use caution when working with hot oil, especially around children. Have a fire extinguisher designed for grease fires at the ready.