This weekend, I did something I thought I’d never do – deep-fry.
It’s something I’ve been toying around with since last year. While I’m not Polish, growing up in Wisconsin and being around a lot of people who order paczki every year for Fat Tuesday always left me wanting to be able to eat them, too. I started searching for where I could find some, and I stumbled on this recipe by Speedbump Kitchen. It’s a pretty easy recipe, especially if you have a deep fryer (or have one given to you by parents who decide cleaning out their kitchen equals giving you a bunch of appliances).
For some reason, creating donuts always felt like creating life or doing a magic trick to me. It doesn’t feel like you should be able to make something that seems so difficult as a filled donut at home, but the beauty of it is that making these paczki just takes timing and a little bit of practice. If I can do it, you can do it, too!
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 mounded tsps yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp chai spice mix (the original recipe called for nutmeg and cardamom – just use some kind of spices you like)
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar or granulated sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners is my favorite brand)
- Some kind of jam you like (we used strawberry and blackberry – make sure to get a large jar)
- Jello vanilla instant pudding mix + 3/4 cup soy milk = the easiest custard in the world that everyone will be obsessed with (truth)
In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, yeast, sugar, vanilla, and spices. Start adding in the flour slowly after this point. You want the dough to be solid enough to be able to form a ball, but still a little bit sticky. After you’ve hit two cups of flour, add the rest of it slowly until you accomplish this.
Form the dough into a ball, move into a clean bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 2 hours.
Next, put some parchment paper down on a table or counter and sprinkle with enough flour so the dough won’t stick. Roll the dough out until it’s about a half inch thick. I remember when I rolled it out I thought they would be way too thin, but trust me, they have a lot of rising to do.
Cut the dough into rounds. I actually used the lid from an 8 oz mason jar and pressed down to cut the dough, but use whatever works for you. You could cut around a pint glass, use a round cookie cutter, whatever you like!
If there are dough scraps left, you could roll it back out once or twice to make some more rounds. Just don’t roll it out more than twice or it could be too tough. This dough made me a baker’s dozen worth of donuts.
Move the rounds to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and a little bit of yeast. Let them rise here for another hour.
This is when the magic happens. Heat up a deep fryer or a dutch oven with at least 6 cups soybean or other vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Fry these for no more than 3 mins per side, and transfer to paper towel to drain. I put wax paper under the paper towel to cut down on the mess factor a little bit.
Note: Definitely try making one of these before you jump in and try to make more at once. The deep fryer I inherited from my parents isn’t all that big, and the dough will expand significantly. I was only able to fry one at a time after finding that out the hard way.
While the donuts are resting, get your filling of choice ready. This weekend, I finally stopped messing around with pastry bags and bought myself a frosting gun with a few different tips. Luckily I was able to snag a clearance one a Target, but even outside of that, it’s worth the money.
Fill your donuts and then sprinkle with sugar or dust with powdered sugar. Share and enjoy the one day where you get to be fat! (Or bring them into work a day early like me and declare it Fat Monday).
Any baked goods you’d like to see me recreate? Any dairy-filled traditional recipes you’d like to see overhauled? Leave a comment on here or email me at [email protected]