Polish Pączki aka Polish Doughnuts #SundaySupper

Polish Pączki is one of my daughter’s favourite recipes. She looks forward to making them every year. This recipe is easy and absolutely delicious.

Paczki | Cravings of a Lunatic | This recipe is easy and absolutely delicious.

Each year my daughter gets really excited as Fat Tuesday approaches. So when Sunday Supper announced the theme for this week would be Fat Sunday I knew we needed to make Polish Pączki. Mini-me was beyond thrilled. Timing was difficult as she’s in university and works, so she’s super busy. So these were made at around midnight on Saturday night, mere hours before the post was due. I knew it was the only time we could make them together so I did the prep for the dough during the day. That ensured we could make the Polish Pączki together before bed.

If you have never made these I’ll warn you they are a tad step heavy. You need to make dough with yeast, allow it to rise, punch it down, allow it to rise again, then roll it out, cut it into spheres, then allow those to rise. So by the time you get to the filling stage it’s been hours of prep. Most of that is inactive though so it’s not difficult, it’s just a lot of steps to get from point A to point B, C, D and E. Totally worth it though. If you think store-bought Polish Pączki are phenomenal wait till you try homemade. These bad boys are going to blow your mind.

Polish Pączki | Cravings of a Lunatic | This recipe is easy and absolutely delicious.

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Polish Paczki
Prep time
Cook time
Polish Paczki is one of my daughter's favourite recipes. She looks forward to making them every year. This recipe is easy and absolutely delicious.
Serves: 2 Dozen
For the Dough:
  • 1 and ½ cups warm milk (110 degrees is ideal, no warmer than that)
  • 2 packages of active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (for proofing the yeast)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) of butter
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 and ½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour
For the Toppings:
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cinnamon Sugar Mix (one part granulated sugar, one part brown sugar, then a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg)
For proofing the yeast:
  1. Warm the milk in a saucepan using a thermometer to watch the temperature. Do not go over 110 degrees. Remove from heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 packages of active dry yeast. Stir briefly. Then set aside to allow it to proof. This will take about 5 to 8 minutes, just let it sit and if your yeast is good it will start to foam.
For the Dough:
  1. In a stand mixer combine the ½ cup sugar and ½ cup butter, cream that with a paddle attachment.You want it fluffy before adding anything else. Once it is you can add the egg, egg yolks, rum extract and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  2. Now alternately add the flour and yeast mixture to stand mixer bowl. I alternated 3 times and mixed slowly in while adding. Then turn the speed up to a medium speed for a minute or two, until the dough becomes blistered. Every time we make these we end up using the full 5 cups of flour. But I also start out with 4 and ½ cups to be sure if I need more or not.
  3. The dough is going to be very sticky, it's okay, don't let that freak you out. Spray a glass bowl with non-stick spray and then set the dough inside. I spray a piece of parchment with non-stick spray then lay that over the top of the dough, then I tightly cover the bowl with tinfoil, sealing the edges. Set the bowl somewhere warm and allow to rise for about 1 to 2 and ½ hours, it should double in size.
  4. Now punch it down, then wrap it back up and allow it to rise again for 1 to 2 and ½ hours.
  5. Now lightly flour your work surface. Turn your dough out onto the work surface. Roll out so the dough is ½ inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut rounds. Place them on lightly floured pans, cover with a lint free cloth, and allow them to rise for another 30 to 60 minutes.
  6. Heat your oil to 350 degrees F.
  7. Drop pacski in the oil, flat side down, cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, then flip over and cook other side for 1 to 2 minutes. You want them to be golden brown.
  8. Scoop out of the fryer and lay on a paper towel, then dunk in desired topping. Place on a rack to dry.
  9. Repeat with 3 or 4 at a time so you don't over-crowd your oil. Continue until all the pacski are cooked.
  10. Serve with a big old sugary smile!
Recipe Source: About.com

It helps to set up separate bowls of sugary toppings before frying the Polish Paczki.

You can also fill them with various topping.

Polish Pączki | Cravings of a Lunatic | This recipe is easy and absolutely delicious.

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  1. says

    These are wonderful and I know how many I could eat! These are really similar to what you find in France and here in Nantes during this season and I’ve been meaning to make them. I might try your recipe!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I love these things. We only make them once or twice a year so they stay “special”. My daughter goes crazy for them. She said last year’s were better so I’m wondering if maybe I used a little more sugar in the dough last year. When we stuff them we don’t pipe it in, we actually roll them a tad thinner, then add filling, seal them like ravioli, then drop them in the fryer with the filling inside. So good. You must try it. I bet you could get a lighter dough than me. I’m good with pastries and breads, but I don’t have that golden touch some people have.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Tradition in our family, my daughter insists on making them every year. It’s so much fun. We have tons of them.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Love these things, so good. We make them every year. It’s one of our family traditions. My daughter is a pro with dough after working at a pizza place.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      They are so good. You have to try making them John. They are super easy, just a tad step heavy but totally worth it.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks Jennifer. We love making them. My daughter is really good with pastry type recipes. Think it’s all her pizza shop experience. She is a genius with dough.

  2. says

    I know Katie would love these, too…in fact, the whole family would!!! Your photos are outstanding…your paczki look so fluffy and irresistible! I’d like one with each topping, please :)

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      She would totally dig these. So very good. I was so worried about the photos, I took them with artificial light which you know I hate. But I had no choice. I liked the cinnamon sugar ones. The next day we did filling, I’m a sucker for peach and cherry. Mini-me likes apple.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks Tara. Ha, I know right. I just had to wait for mini-me to get home. It’s our family tradition.

  3. Anonymous says

    Polish Pączki — I’ve never heard of these before! They look amazing! I’m going to have to make them! So decadent! :)

  4. says

    My little Polish donut-loving heart thanks you SO much for sharing this recipe! I am not a master of frying (despite having worked at a donut shop), however, I will be babysitting at my sister’s house where there is a deep fryer at my disposal. These NEED to happen!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Awe, you are so welcome Kelly. Have you ever made them? I think you can bake them too. When we stuff them we don’t just pipe stuff in, we actually make the rounds smaller, add the filling, top with another round, seal and cook with the filling in them. There is something so amazing about warm filling inside. Just make sure you seal them really well so the filling doesn’t end up in your deep fryer.

  5. says

    Gorgeous Kim! I want to say these are similar to malasadas?? You must know what they are…Portuguese doughnuts that you can find anywhere in Hawaii…I miss them! But I am afraid of making anything with yeast lol

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Very similar. I think almost interchangeable. I can’t wait to take K to Hawaii. We’re hoping next year, if not it’ll be the year after. She needs to see where her name comes from.

      Do not fear the yeast, the worst part of it is the smell. I despise the smell of yeast, especially when you proof it, particularly in milk. But once you tackle yeast it’s super easy. Just make sure you proof so you know your yeast is good. It takes just a few minutes. Or buy a bread machine, I do a ton of my doughs in my bread maker. It does all the work for you.

  6. says

    Oooooh…I think I drooled just a little bit. Is there anything better than a sweet treat warm from the fryer? These look so special!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      You could, I didn’t. I just left the paddle on it and it worked beautifully. It’s a pretty wet dough until you work it later with some bench flour. I’m a lazy girl, if I can get away with not swapping attachments I will. Just don’t use the whisk, it wouldn’t work, but the paddle is perfection. On slow speed. Hope that helps. Let me know if you make them. I’m noshing on one (or three) right now.

  7. says

    Gaaaaah – these are so gorgeous, Kim, I can’t stand it. I love fried dough so much. This may be a step-heavy recipe but I’m sure totally worth it at the end to take a giant bite out of these crispy, soft, sugar crusted beauties. I’m visiting your house next year for Fat Tuesday.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks Nancy. You totally need to come visit. Not as pretty here as BC but I can make up for that with food. Ha.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Ha, that’s basically what happens here over the last one. We all make deals to see who wants it the most.

  8. Diana Cote says

    I don’t have any rum or rum extract, i do have real whiskey and vanilla & lemon extract also almond. is there anything i could substitute it for? Thanks! :)

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I’d just use straight up vanilla extract if you don’t have rum. I do that a lot. Almond would be nice too. Hope that helps. xx

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      They are huge here too, they sell them everywhere. I love making them and eating them. I’m like you, I’m not a big donut girl but I make exceptions for these.

  9. says

    Well heavy or not and many steps or not… I’m pretty sure I would looove to make these! They look gorgeous and love your photos!

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