Pączki are round, deep-fried doughnuts that are a popular sweet treat in Poland. They are made with basic ingredients such as flour, eggs, sugar and lard and come in a variety of flavors and fillings, ranging from traditional rose jam and plum jam, to contemporary favorites like custard and chocolate.
In addition to sweet fillings, savory options like cheese and minced meat have also gained popularity in Poland.
Pączki are often enjoyed on Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek), the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, before Lent. These pastries are also enjoyed during other festive occasions, such as birthdays and weddings.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The history of Pączki can be traced back to Poland’s medieval times, where these pastries were initially created as a way to use up ingredients before the fasting period of Lent.
The word ‘pączki’ is derived from the Polish word ‘pączek’ meaning little package.
Similar doughnut-like pastries can be found in various cultures around the world. The German Berliner, and the Portuguese malasada all share similarities with Pączki.
Polish Pączki are round, deep-fried doughnuts, often filled with jam, custard or chocolate.
- All-purpose flour - 3 cups
- Active dry yeast - 2 1/4 tsp
- Milk, warmed - 3/4 cup
- Granulated sugar - 1/4 cup
- Unsalted butter, softened - 1/4 cup
- Egg yolks - 2
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Fruit jam or filling of choice, for filling
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until frothy.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, softened butter, egg yolks, salt, and vanilla extract.
- Pour in the yeast mixture and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles of dough.
- Place a teaspoon of fruit jam or filling of choice in the center of a dough circle. Fold the dough in half to enclose the filling and pinch the edges to seal.
- Place the filled Pączki on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rise for another 20-30 minutes.
- In a large pot, heat vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C). Carefully place the Pączki in the hot oil and fry them for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Remove the Pączki from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
- Once the Pączki have cooled slightly, dust them generously with powdered sugar.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 162mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 7g
Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.