I never did get to a store to buy a candy thermometer. On Thursday I twisted my knee and wasn't able to walk any distance without hanging on to things so I didn't leave the house. I did find my knee brace Friday morning and it helped but was still too painful to walk on for any distance. I decided that since I am capable of baking bread without one I should be able to heat milk to the correct temperature for Paczkis without one. I am not convinced I was wrong, but I'm also not convinced I was right.
The recipe called for Rapid Rise which has a hotter proof, or activate temperature than regular yeast does. Regular yeast is 110 while rapid rise is 120 to 130. Once I got everything mixed in I found I had to use a lot more flour to stop the dough from being sticky. The recipe called for 1.5 cups and a quarter cup for the kneading process. Also, kneading was only supposed to be 50 turns. I found I had to keep adding flour and that resulted in more than 50 turns. The additional kneading created a final product that had more of a bread consistency than a raised donut consistency.
I am wondering if the size of the egg yolks used might have contributed to the sticky dough? There was no specification as to size but I used jumbo eggs which have quite a bit larger yolks. I'm wondering if that might have contributed more liquid to the recipe than should have been there?
My filling technique needs some practice. Some of the donuts were so stuffed the filling leaked out and others had barely enough in them to taste. I need a longer, slightly narrower tip than the one I have. Also, I got a dozen of them from the recipe but feel I need to cut them slightly larger than I did.
Once I get a candy thermometer I'm going to use the recipe to make cinnamon rolls with. I'm going to use the electric mixer for the first stage of the wet/dry ingredient incorporation which I didn't use when I made the Paczkis. I'm going to use 1 egg yolk instead of 2 to see if that keeps the knead turns to the stated 50.
I probably shouldn't be baking and eating the results but it does me no good to give up everything I love to eat healthy. Setting aside one day a week to eat the things I love isn't a bad thing if I expend the energy to make it. When I got done yesterday I found I had flour and powdered sugar to clean up as well as extra dishes to do and the kitchen floor to mop. It was fun and I was happy so maybe the experiment should earn a C+? For the next baking experiment I'll have to remember to get pictures. Maybe even at different stages in the process if I don't have sticky dough all over my hands. We'll see.