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Polish Donuts

This exciting recipe is worth the wait
Polish donuts
Photo courtesy of Polish Your Kitchen

In Poland, these donuts are traditionally eaten on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, to celebrate "Fat Thursday." Known as Packzi (pronounced ponchkee), they are fried, fluffy balls of dough dusted with powdered sugar and commonly filled with jam or custard. With this recipe, your donuts will be super soft and not greasy at all. 

Recipe courtesy of Polish Your Kitchen

Ready in
4 h 2 m
4 h
(prepare time)
2 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


For the donuts

  • 3.5 Ounces fresh yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup bread flour
  • 1 Cup warm milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 6 Cups bread flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 Cups warm milk
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 3.5 Tablespoons high proof alcohol
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3.5 Ounces melted and cooled butter
  • 2 Pounds lard, for frying
  • powdered sugar, for garnish

For the filling

  • 1 jar of favorite jam

For the glaze

  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons water
  • candied lemon peel, optional


For the donuts

Place first 4 ingredients is a bowl and mix well to combine. Place in a warm spot covered with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.

When the hour is almost up, whisk eggs yolks, 1 whole egg and sugar in mixer bowl with a whisk attachment until white and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).

Change whisk to a mixing paddle, add yeast starter and start mixing. Gradually start adding flour alternating with milk. Also add lemon zest and juice, alkohol, salt and vanilla extract. When it becomes too thick to mix with the mixing paddle, start kneading by hand. Knead until dough is smooth and it doesn't stick to your hand anymore (about 10 minutes).

Finally, slowly add melted butter and keep kneading until incorporated.

Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, divide dough in half and roll out to about 1/2 inch / 2 cm thickness. With a glass or a metal can cut out circles and place on a cookie sheet. Do this with all of your dough. Cover dough circles with a towel and let rise for 1 hour.

About 15 minutes before the hour is up, start heating the lard. Place it in a rather narrow pot (we'll be frying only 2-3 at a time, and we need some depth of the oil) and heat on medium heat til grease reached 350℉/180℃ (or until a piece of dough place in grease starts bubbling immediately).

Be very careful with placing donuts onto hot grease. I used a wire colander to place 2 or 3 donuts at a time. Fry donuts until they are golden brown (about 45sec - 1 min per side) and flip. Remove onto a paper towel lined sheet.

For the filling

If you'd like to fill them with jelly, let them cool first.

Fill a pastry bag (with a long nozzle) with jelly.

Insert nozzle into donut and push on bag to fill them with about 1 tsp of jelly.

For the glaze

If you'd like to glaze yours place powdered sugar in a bowl, add lemon juice and add water 1 tbs at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Pour over donuts and garnish with lemon peel.

Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving221
Total Fat10g16%
Vitamin A25µg3%
Vitamin C2mg2%
Vitamin D17IU100%
Vitamin E0.2mg1.6%
Vitamin K0.2µg0.2%
Folate (food)57µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)110µg27%
Folic acid31µgN/A
Niacin (B3)2mg15%
Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg16.8%
Sugars, added10gN/A
Thiamin (B1)0.4mg32.8%