I'll be honest: this blog has been so quiet because the running bug has left me. Gone. I have been caught up in an off again-on again relationship with strength training but the truth is: I have a returned to an old love.
Oh hello baking.
I've been one happy camper in the kitchen lately. Although, as Jeff has mentioned more than once, if I keep baking like this we definitely need to start running again. Okay, so we'll get to the running. But today's Fat Tuesday.
And if you're Polish and live in the Midwest that means paczki (poonch-key).
Don't call them jelly doughnuts, they are so much better than jelly doughnuts.
They're also a good amount of work, but totally worth it. The dough was frustratingly sticky after I mixed all of the ingredients and before the initial rise. I went with my instinct and added more flour than the recipe called for but eventually I had to take a leap of faith that it would all turn out - and it did. After the first rise and a quick second knead, the dough rolled out beautifully.
Cut, fry, fill and dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 2 dozen.
(Adapted from a recipe at About.com)
1 1/2 cups warm milk (no warmer than 110 degrees)
2 packages (1/2 oz.) active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature butter
1 large room-temperature egg
3 large room-temperature egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
1. Mix yeast and warm milk until the mixture becomes frothy; set aside.
2. In in the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to whip the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs one at a time, vanilla and salt.
3. Set speed to low and alternate adding flour and milk/yeast mixture to butter/egg mix. Once all ingredients have been added, set mixer to medium and mix for 5 minutes.
4. Switch to the dough hook (sprayed with non-stick spray) and knead 5 more minutes. The dough will be very sticky and may still stick to the side of the bowl. Cover and let rise 1-2 hours.
5. Punch down dough and knead a few more times. Roll out dough to 1/2" thickness and cut with a round biscuit cutter (or the mouth of a glass or the ring of a mason jar). Allow the cut rounds to rise for 30 minutes.
6. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Gently place paczki top side down into the oil. Fry for 1-2 minutes. Flip and fry the second side for 1-2 additional minutes. Remove from oil and allow to drain on an upside-down drying rack over newspaper. (This helps to wick away the excess oil.)
7. Once cool enough to handle, use a chopstick to poke a hole in the side of the paczki. Use a piping bag with a large round tip to fill the paczki with filling.
8. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eat within 24hrs.