Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Packzi for Packzi day

    Let's get this part out of the way first.  Packzi is pronounced like punch-key.  It doesn't make sense to me.  But it is a lot like gotabki and golumpki being the same.  The Polish alphabet has some letters that look a lot like ours, only with danglies.  Those danglies make them sound a lot different than how we pronounce them.  That is the closest I have to an explanation.  Maybe one of the Hejnars can enlighten me a bit?  Anyway, packzi are donuts that are usually filled with fruit or custard and rolled in sugar.  They are most akin to what I grew up calling bismarks, but this dough is a lot richer and eggier (that's a thing, right?) than a traditional donut.

    I had never heard of a packzi before meeting Matt.  I have had a lot of fun getting to try some of the Polish traditions with his family, and a day dedicated to donuts is definitely something I can really get behind!  I don't know of any traditional Polish bakeries nearby, so Matt's mom usually stops by with donuts for us on Fat Tuesday.  A last hoorah before lent starts.  What a tasty way to celebrate.  It is funny, because now that I am familiar with what a packzi is, I have actually seen them labeled that in the store.  Not around here, mind you, but I have seen them labeled as packzi in larger cities.  It is fun to be in the know now!

   My first try, I thought I had a brilliant idea... and it did not turn out as planned.  What I ended up with was tasty, but it was not really packzi.  

See, they didn't get as much color.  Yummy, but not quite what I was going for!

   I have a general rule of not frying at home.  I don't want to get in the habit of eating too many fried foods and I hate smelling like the grease.  I feel like it soaks into my clothes and hair and the walls and it takes days for the feeling and smell to go away.  No thank you!  So, I thought I would game the system.  I thought maybe if I sprayed them with cooking spray and baked them, they might at least be close.  I mean it works for egg rolls and wontons right?  Wrong!  If you are going to do it, just fry the dang things.  I mean it is fat Tuesday for a reason, right?!  If you are going to go through the trouble of making them, you might as well really do it.  They are a lot better that way, trust me.



1 1/2 cups milk
1 T yeast
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 T brandy
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups flour + more for rolling
Powdered sugar or granulated sugar for coating

1 can fruit pastry filling
  1. Warm the milk slightly and add the yeast.
  2. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, yolks, brandy and salt mixing until incorporated.
  3. Alternate adding the milk mixture and the flour.  Once everything is added, continue to mix for five minutes.  The dough will be sticky, but smooth.
  4. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled in size
  5. Punch down and place on a floured surface.  Roll to about 1/2" thickness. Cut into 3" circles and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  6. Either fire up a fryer or get some grease warming in a skillet on the stove.  Fry in 350 F oil until golden, then flip. It won't take long on each side, maybe a minute or two.  Drain on paper towels then roll in sugar.  Wait until completely cool to fill.

I have never been a huge fan of jelly donuts.  Don't get me wrong, I'll eat it when presented with one, but it wouldn't be my choice from the case.  So, I thought it would be fun to make a strawberry cream cheese filling for something a little different.  It turned out pretty tasty!

For strawberry cream cheese filling:
1/2 lb strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
4 T flour 
2 T orange juice
8 oz cream cheese
  1. In a sauce pan, combine strawberries, flour, sugar and orange juice.  Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently until quite thick.  Let cool completely.
  2. In a mixer, beat room temperature cream cheese.  Add the fruit mixture and whip until mostly smooth (there will still be chunks of berry, but the cream cheese should be smooth).
  3. Once the packzi are cooled, but filling in a pastry bag.  Create a hole in the edge of the donut, insert tip and fill.  MMM!
Packzi don't keep well.  So you might as well eat them all.  It is packzi day after-all, so enjoy yourself!


  1. I've never heard of Packzi but these look really good! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Talented Tuesdays. I hope you join us again tomorrow!

    1. They are really good. I just wish the baked version would have worked a little better, I am not a fan of frying. Thanks for hosting!

  2. This looks incredible! I'm licking my lips right now. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for taking the time to party with us. We hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. It wouldn't be a party without you! Lou Lou Girls

  3. You have to fry them. It's the only way you'll get the authentic polish flavor.


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