Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Paczki Experiment

One of the best memories from my childhood was weekends at Granny's and the jelly donuts. We always went grocery shopping on Saturday mornings and if I'd been a particularly good little brat and helped Granny with the dusting and vacuuming my reward would be jelly donuts. Nothing like contributing to the obesity of a minor child, is there?

Anyways these weekends at Granny's pretty much stopped when my parents divorced and Grandpa got sick. No more early Saturday morning shopping trips to stores with the bakeries that made them. By the time I was making my own babysitting money and could get down to the Mohegan Market to purchase one, it would be after noon on Saturday and they would be all sold out.

The Dan Dee Donuts came to town with their 50 different varieties of donuts. Except they didn't make the jelly ones with the same dark red almost purple jelly.  They had strawberry, raspberry in bright red that really didn't have the consistency of jelly. It was more like a really thick glaze type substance. With the other flavors like lemon or pineapple they frosted the top of the donut and there went the powdered sugar mess. Not at all what I was used to, even though I can't tell you what the jelly inside was, the ones Granny bought were better.

After Dan Dee donuts, there was Dunkin donuts and they still didn't make the jelly donut the way I remembered. Also used the bright red slime inside. Then an independent young man from Greece started a regional coffee/donut shop that he called Dippin Donuts. He uses the right jam inside which he tells me is Black Raspberry. The problem is that if you can't be there before 8 am they're sold out, and they're expensive. Also, deep fried. Yeah, not the healthiest choice.

I was giving the wife of the independent Greek a hard time (she's a friend, she expects it) over the lack of jelly donuts at 8:15 am Sunday morning when a nice little Polish lady behind me said I should learn to make Paczkis. I just laughed and said if I did that, I wouldn't have the fun of picking on the wife of the independent Greek. It took until Tuesday for the idea to take hold in my head.

On Tuesday I asked the Google for Paczki recipes and found that I don't have to deep fry them, I can bake them in the oven. I had most of the ingredients on hand, just needed to buy yeast and I did need the icing bag and long tip to fill them with. I don't think I have the right tip. It looks rather big, but it is longer than the others I saw available. If I plan on making them again I'll go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and see if there is a different tip of this length, assuming this one doesn't work as well, of course.

Friday I am going to have to pick up a candy thermometer to check the temp of the milk used so the yeast won't be killed or retarded by too hot or cool milk. I've never had a use for one since I learned to cook before recipes relied on them. The only candy I make is fudge and soft ball stage is the way I learned to check the progress. Unfortunately for me, the Paczki recipe wouldn't work if I tried a soft ball test for the milk.

The kitchen here is a dream to work in. If it wasn't I probably wouldn't even try this. In my old kitchen I would have had to take everything off the countertop and also use the table for part of the process. Here I have enough room to mix and knead, enough room to cool them down and have all of them together when it's time to sugar and fill them. Plus, even if it's a lot of sugar to be consuming, they aren't deep fried and that makes them healthier than bakery made jelly donuts. The best part is I get to have them my way.


  1. makes me hungry for a jelly donut Sherr!

    1. They turned out pretty good too, except there's too much confectioners sugar on them.

  2. Anything made with yeast is a flop for me everytime so I don't try. We have three donut shops here in town not including dunkin donuts which to me are nasty. I will just get mine at one of them if I want them. I see you said they turned out ok. Did you get pictures?

    1. No, hubby started sampling them as soon as they were filled. I need a better decorator tip for filling them and practice to make sure I'm getting the filling even in all of them. I also think I'm just going to sift a smaller amount of powdered sugar over the top. Shaking them in the bag, as the recipe said, made the sugar too thick and it tasted less sweet that way.