Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Baked (Not Fried!) Paczkis for Mardi Gras

First, let me ask: does anyone know how to pronounce Pączki?

I've heard about 5 different pronunciations and the closest I can get is "poonch-key." Well, no matter how you say 'em, they're a delicious treat to eat on Mardi Gras, otherwise known as "Fat Tuesday." Now I'm a Jew, so eating fatty food, only to give it up for 40 days is not exactly my specialty. However, my husband is Polish (which is where "Okula" comes from) so I wanted to make this treat for him. I took this recipe from JennyCanCook and was able to make 12 patch-skis... punch-keys... patsys?...

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 C of flour
1/4 C of sugar
1/4 t of salt
1 packet of yeast (I used regular but instant works too)
2/3 C of milk (warmed to 120 for instant/110 for regular yeast)
3 T of canola oil (using canola oil instead of butter makes it healthier..ish..)
2 egg yolks
1/2 t of vanilla
Extra 1/4 C of flour for solidifying dough, covering workspace, etc.)
1 T of melted butter
1/3 c of sugar for coating
1 C of jam, custard, or whatever filling you like (optional - I didn't fill mine with anything)

First, combine your dry ingredients in a mixer - the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Easy enough, right?

Next, add in your wet ingredients - the heated milk, canola oil, egg yolks, and vanilla. Mix on high for two minutes.

Here's where you might want to add a 1/4 C of flour, just to make sure it's solidified enough to take out of the bowl and onto a floured surface.

Now the original post recommends kneading the dough roughly 50 times before putting it in plastic wrap. I say, knead it until it's ready. You'll know when it's ready. Then wrap it up and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Once the 10 minutes are up, take off the plastic wrap, roll out your dough to 1/2" thick, and using whatever you have (a cookie cutter, a small bowl, etc.) punch out your dough balls and place them on a piece of parchment paper atop a cookie sheet. You'll want them to be roughly 2" in diameter, however mine were much bigger!

Place them in a warm spot and let them sit for 45 minutes to an hour. Preheat your oven to 375 and once they've become puffy, stick them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Before putting in oven
After 10 minutes in the oven
While the dough is in the oven, melt some butter (I needed 2 T worth to cover 12) and put sugar in a plastic bag.

Once the dough is done baking in the oven, cover them with butter...

...put them in the bag with the sugar and shake until they're completely covered.

At this point you could add your filling, if you so choose. Otherwise, there you have it - your very own poot-skis!...pants-leys...pot-sheets...

I already had all the ingredients
The original post says you can do it in an hour and a half, however I gave it 1 hour just for the dough to rise.

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
For my first time ever making these, I was surprised at how easy they were to make! They're traditionally fried but baking seemed like a healthier option. I'm sure if you include filling, it would up the difficulty. However, making baked dough with sugar... not a difficult task.

1 comment:

  1. Hah - "healthier...ish." Yes, well.

    We always heard this as "punch-keys," but our Polish folk had lived in California for awhile. And they were also partially Italian...

    Aren't these good! Almost as good as beignets...