Paczki (Polish Yeast Doughnuts)

Paczki (Polish Yeast Doughnuts)|


  • 6-7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick butter, melted and room temperature
  • 2 cups warm whole milk, 110-120 degrees*
  • 3/4 and 1 tsp sugar, divided
  • 1 whole egg, at room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp active yeast
  • 2 tsp good quality vanilla**
  • 6-7 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • granulated for dusting doughnuts
  • powdered sugar for dusting doughnuts
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, strained
  • 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • 5-6 cardamom pods, shelled and ground to a powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 2-3 tbsp cold milk
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 cup good quality raspberry jam, filled into piping bag
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter melted and 2/3 cup grape jelly, mixed and filled into piping bag
  • 1 cup Nutella, melted (30-45 seconds in the microwave)


  1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine milk, yeast and 1 tsp sugar. Stir and set aside, in a warm place for 10 minutes to proof. The mixture should be bubbly and foamy at the end of 10 minutes.
  2. With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture and beat until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free place for 30 minutes. The mixture will rise and fill with bubbles.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine whole egg and egg yolks and beat with wire whisk or electric mixer for 3-4 minutes, until the eggs become frothy, pale yellow, and thick Whisk in sugar, salt, and vanilla. Continue to whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Attach paddle attachment to stand mixture and slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour and yeast mixture, on low speed until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour the melted butter and beat until combined.
  5. Replace paddle attachment with hook attachment and mix at low speed. Slowly add in the remaining flour, one cup at a time. You may not need more than 4 cups. If dough is still in a liquid state, add flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until it becomes a soft ball. The dough will be sticky.
  6. Grease a large bowl and pour out the flour into the bowl, rolling into a large ball*** Cover loosely and set in a warm, draft free place to let dough double in size, about 30-45 minutes.
  7. Punch dough down and lightly grease hands and rub over the dough to prevent it from sticking to surface when rolling out. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and using a biscuit cutter or a glass rim, cut out paczki. Place on cookie sheets. Reroll the dough as necessary, using more oil if needed. Cover cookie sheets and set aside in a warm, draft free place.
  8. Heat oil for frying in a dutch oven or pan with high sides, on medium low to low heat. Test heat of oil by dropping a small amount of dough into the oil. The dough should sink and immediately float up to indicate readiness. Drop 4-5 paczki at a time and cook each side for 2-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and drain on a plate or pan lined with paper towels.
  9. MAKE THE RAS MALAAI FILLING: combine ricotta, cardamom, powdered sugar and rosewater and beat until mixture is smooth. Fill in piping bag and set aside.
  10. MAKE THE ROSEWATER ICING: Combine powdered sugar, rosewater, milk 1 tbsp at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. Cover and set aside. Stir to dissolve any hardened sugar before using.
  11. FILL PACZKI: insert the tip of the piping tubes into the paczki and pull out while gently squeezing. You will feel the paczki start to swell up.
  12. TO GLAZE WITH ROSEWATER ICING: drizzle icing over filled ras malaai filled paczki evenly. Sprinkle with pistachio and let set for 10 minutes.
  13. IF NOT ICING WITH ROSEWATER ICING: roll in granulated sugar or powdered sugar.
  14. Paczki are best eaten the same day but can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container.


*I usually heat the milk in the microwave for 1:30-2 minutes. If you overheat the milk, it will kill the yeast, rather than activating it. The milk should be mildly comfortable if on your skin-warmer than room temperature.
**I use alcohol free vanilla from Trader Joe's. It's the closest to pure vanilla bean and doesn't contain alcohol.
***when working with sticky dough, it helps to rub your hands down in vegetable oil so the dough doesn't stick to your hands. Instead of using flour to roll out the dough, use vegetable oil to prevent the dough from sticking and drying out. The additional flour used to roll out dough dries out the dough and changes texture when you need to reroll. Oil keeps the dough moist and pliable and prevents the dough from stiffening up.

each filling recipe fills about 10 paczkis as written. Adjust accordingly.