This recipe was handed down from my Busia, (Grandma) to my mom and aunts, then to me and my cousins. Now my daughters and son have the recipe to carry on the tradition.
Though many paczki you see in stores on Fat Tuesday are filled, we never had anything but raisins added to the dough. One of our local churches make paczki as a fundraiser and make them plain (no raisins), but never ever are they filled.
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
These take me back to Mardi Gras! They taste a lot like beignets but with the added sweetness from the yummy raisins. These light and fluffy little donuts went very quick in the Test Kitchen.
Dissolve 2 pkgs dry yeast in the warm water for about 10 minutes until it begins to foam.
Add 2 cups cooled, scalded milk and 2 cups flour and beat well.
Add the 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg, sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Beat until light and fluffy.
Add 4 cups of the flour and the raisins (toss the raisins in a bit of flour before adding to dough). Mix well. Dust a flat surface with a small amount of the remaining flour and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, using the remaining flour as needed. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with film and place in a warm spot to raise for 1 hour.
Turn 1/2 of the dough out on a floured surface and pat out 1/2 inch thick. Cut circles with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place cut out dough on a floured pan or towel. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until double, about 45 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Pour enough vegetable or canola oil into a heavy pot or an electric frying pan to fill about 1/2 full. Using a candy thermometer, heat oil to deep fry temp. Gently drop in 4 or 5 paczki into the oil. When golden brown on one side flip the paczki over to fry on the other side. Use a long needle or a toothpick to poke into the center of the paczki; if no dough sticks to the needle, the dough is cooked. Remove paczki from oil and place on layers of paper towels or plain brown paper bag to drain and cool.
In a small paper bag, put about 1/2 cup of either powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. Add a paczki, close bag and shake to cover with sugar and serve. Paczki get stale after a day so place unused paczki in a freezer zip bag. Remove only what you need. Defrost and sugar them when you want more:)