Midwest Mermaid Bakes: Fat Tuesday Pączki!

The Great Pączki Recipe
(poonch-key, or poonch-ka as my great grandma called them)

The back story:

The day before Lent, the Polish Catholics have been known to make the sugary delicious donuts known as the pączki.  This day, known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras is the day before the time of fasting that's to come.  From my understanding, this kind of caught on and now pączkis are a hugely popular Fat Tuesday tradition!  

If you buy them from a store or bakery, sometimes they're literally just jelly-filled donuts.  But the way my great grandma used to make them was with golden raisins, no fruit filling.  No idea if this is a traditional way or not.  Nevertheless, this is the way my fam has come to love them.  She would make them on Fat Tuesday and deliver them to our doors, still warm!

They require a lot of time and patience to make, because you spend most of the time waiting for yeast to activate and for the dough to rise.  And then you have to deep fry them.  We accidentally made 6 dozen, so it took like a reaaaaaaaaaally long time.  I came out smelling like a fresh donut though.

I wanted to share her recipe with you, the world, so that everyone can enjoy the deliciousness.  It's at the bottom.

First, here's a little photo diary of the process!

Waiting for dough to rise:

Punch dough and make donut balls:

Wait for them to double in size:

Deep fry:

Sugar them:

Enjoy your pączki!

Great Grandma's Pączki Recipe:


  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 pkg Quick Rising Yeast
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • Golden Raisins
  • 4 1/2 cup flour
  • canola oil
  • extra sugar for coating

1) Scald the milk and remove from heat, add butter and sugar.
2) Let mixture cool to lukewarm, then add yeast, beaten eggs, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla.
3) Add as many raisins as desired.
4) Add one half the flour and mix briefly.
5) Add remaining flour and mix until all flour is incorporated.
6) Punch down for a couple minutes and then let dough rise in warm place until doubled.
7) Place dough balls on lightly floured surface in warm place.
8) Allow balls to double in size.
9) Heat oil to 375 degrees.
10) Fry each ball for 2 minutes on each side (the amount of time will actually depend on how big you make the dough balls).
11) Drain on toweling.
12) Roll in sugar while still warm.


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