Often misspelled as: punchkees, poochkie, punski, poochkis
What Are Pączki?
Pączek (plural: pączki) is a traditional Polish doughnut made of yeast dough consisting of wheat flour, eggs, milk and butter.
Pączek is formed into slightly flattened ball, injected with rose petal filling and deep fried – traditionally in lard. As a finishing touch, they’re bathed in a flat icing and sprinkled with candied orange peel on top.
How To Pronounce “Pączki” In Polish?
The closest way to the Polish pronunciation would be: “pownch-key”
Non-Polish speakers often use the plural form “pączki”, even if they’re referring to a single doughnut.
A single “pączek” sounds like: “pownch-eck”
Early on, pączki were made with bread dough, filled with pork fat and topped with pork scratchings. In the late 16th century they evolved into a sweet pastry, but they were much tougher then those we know today. In 18th century yeast was added to the recipe, and the doughnuts became larger and softer.
Fun fact: Old Polish custom associated with pączki involved placing an almond (or any other nut) in some of them. The one who came across this “surprise” was to be guaranteed happiness and prosperity throughout the year (perhaps with a tooth missing as well…)
Fat Tuesday, Fat Thursday & Pączki Day
Pączki are sold in Polish bakeries on everyday basis, but in leading to Lent, millions are sold in mere hours.
In Poland we enjoy them in large quantity while celebrating “Tłusty Czwartek” (“Fat Thursday”), the last Thursday prior to the beginning of Lent.
Abroad, pączki are accompanying Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras. On the same day in North America – particularly where the large Polish communities reside – “Pączki Day” is celebrated annually.
Pączki vs Doughnuts
What’s the difference between pączki and doughnuts? Pączki are made of a yeast dough – enriched with eggs, milk and butter. The texture is quite dense with an almost chewy texture that stretches delightfully over the tongue. Doughnuts are much lighter and crumblier in comparison.
Moreover, pączki are filled with a hearty amount of jam (or other fillings), while doughnuts often have a hole punched in the middle.
Popular Pączki Fillings
- Rose petal marmalade
- Prune filling / damson jam
- Fruit jam / fruit jelly
- Budyń (Polish custard)
Save this “Polish Pączki Doughnuts with Rose Petal Marmalade” recipe to your “POLISH DESSERTS” Pinterest board! And let’s be friends on Pinterest!