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John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.

Let's cook Polish --- Paczki

In Poland, the last days before the beginning of Lent are devoted to celebrations and merrymaking -- and to lots of tastey eating!   Paczki are traditionally baked and consumed all week long, starting on "Fat Thursday", a week before Ash Wednesday, up to and including  "Fat Thursday". In the United States, "Paczki Day" is celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. But with this receipe, you can enjoy paczki all year long!

PACZKI:

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; 3/4 cup sugar; 3/4 cup melted butter; 8 egg yolks; 2 tbs vanilla sugar; 3 oz fresh yeast; ( or 5 packs dry active yeast)*; 1/2 cup orange peel, fried in sugar and butter, finely diced, and cooled; 1 1/2  cups warm milk; pinch of salt; 2 tbs vodka or rum; 4-5 cups of cooking oil (peanut oil is best); powdered sugar.  For the filling: prune butter, rasberry jam, apricot jam, or rose preserves.

1) In a small bowl, place fresh yeast, 1 tbs flour, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 cup of warm milk. Mix well to form a paste. Cover with a dish cloth and set in a warm place.

2) Sift flour; seperate eggs. Add sugar and the vanilla sugar to egg yolks and beat to  form a fluffy pale yellow mixture ( in a bowl placed above a pot filled with hot water).

3) When the yeast has risen, add to flour; mix, and then add egg yolk mixture. Mix by hand in a large bowl ( or in a food processor  or bread machine), adding warm milk gradually to make a soft , fluffy dough that is not too wet.

4) When the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl, slowly add the warm (but not hot) meltedbutter, and continue mixing the dough  until it no longer sticks to your hands. Add diced orange peel and vodka or rum. Cover and place in a warm place for the dough to rise.

5) When the dough has doubled in size, tear off a piece the size of an egg and make a round patty. Place a teaspoon of filling on the patty and then roll the dough into a ball around the filling. Place formed paczki on a floured surface and cover with a dish cloth for about 15 minutes, until they rise.

6) Place paczki carefully in hot oil and cook until golden in color on both sides. To get the white ring in the middle of the paczki (like the ones that you buy from a bakery) be sure to cover your pot when you turn the paczki over.

7) Take out paczki and drain on a plate covered with paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar ( or add icing ) when paczki have cooled.

*  Yeast conversion: 1 pkg active dry yeast (1/4 oz) =1 cake of fresh yeast (0.6 oz).

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This receipe come from the January/February 2009 issue of Glos Polek. I hope that you can enjoy this receipe with your family and friends. Glos Polek  is the bi-monthly newspaper of the Polish Women's Alliance of America 

www.pwaa.org

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