Finally! I have a recipe for Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts (Pączki)!
Pączki (POHNCH-kee) made a grand come back to my life after 6 years!!!
It’s been 6 years since I went gluten-free and was forced to say good bye to my delicious gems I loved so much as a child.
My Mom made Pączki almost every Sunday. And, she made them like nobody else!
The dough was so silky and so beautifully pliable that she was able to fill it with preserves, close it tightly, shape it to a nice ball, have it rise again and then fry it in deep oil. The preserves never, I mean never oozed out!
When I went gluten-free, knowing how finicky gluten-free baking is, I did not even attempt making my beloved Pączki.
More precisely, this year.
I recently started baking using a combination of almond flour, white rice flour and starches.
While making the above, I noticed the dough reminded me of how my Mom’s Pączki dough felt like…
I decided to give it a try.
I raised the dough only once the first time. I did not shape the doughnuts by hand. I simply scooped out the dough with an ice cream scoop and dropped it into hot oil.
My Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts were GOOD! Like… really good!!!
I enjoyed them immensely!
It had been 6 years after all!
My family and friends liked them too and asked for more a few days later.
Feeling empowered, I decided to take the next step – this time I raised my Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts TWICE (just like traditional Pączki), and they were even better!
Here is a proof! 🙂
Ok, I will stop teasing…
Let’s move on to the recipe itself so you can enjoy Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts too! 🙂
1/The first step – proofing yeast!
This is a very crucial step! Do it right!
Make sure the water is exactly 110ºF! Yes, take its temperature with a kitchen thermometer!
If the water is too cold, the yeast will not activate. If the water is too hot, you will kill the yeast.
Set it in a warm place to proof.
If after 15 minutes the mixture is not risen and frothy, dump it out and start again!
I am not kidding! Do not think that somehow the yeast will activate in the dough! IT WILL NOT!
2/While yeast is activating, gather all dry ingredients and give it a whisk.
3/At the same time, warm up milk and add butter and coconut oil to melt.
Again, take its temperature and make sure it reads 110ºF!
4/When the yeast mixture is nicely proofed, add eggs, lemon juice and sugar to it.
Fit Kitchen Aid with a paddle attachment and give the wet ingredients a stir.
5/Having the mixer running on low, add dry ingredients and milk mixture, a little at a time, alternating.
You should arrive with sticky dough!
5/Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap.
Kitchen towel is not good enough as it will allow the dough tho dry out on top.
Place mixer bowl in warm place, free of draft. The dough needs to rise for an hour!
6/Now you need to make a decision whether you will go ahead and fry your Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts now, or have it risen again.
Traditionally, Pączki are risen twice.
7/I use 1/4 ice scream scoop to scoop out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
I use a little more tapioca flour on top so my hands do not stick and gently roll the doughnut dough around until I feel comfortable picking it up.
8/I arrange my nicely shaped Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts on a cookie sheet lined with silicone baking mat.
9/They need to be covered with plastic wrap again and placed in warm area to rise, yet again!
After 40 minutes, they will look nice and plump!
10/Preheat vegetable oil to 350ºF. Gently drop risen twice Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts into hot oil and fry on both sides.
Make sure your oil is not too hot! Otherwise, your doughnuts will be burnt on the outside and not cooked all the way inside!
This is a very important and dangerous step, so be careful, take your time!
11/I remove my Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts onto a cooling rack, covered with paper towel, to allow the excess of oil to be absorbed.
12/The next step is up to you – you can choose to fill your Gluten-Free Polish Doughnuts with jelly before powder sugar goes on top or after.
I allow my daughter to coat each single doughnut with powdered sugar by placing a donut in a brown bag with powdered sugar and shake it vigorously. She loves doing it! So much fun!
I fill my doughnuts after they are powdered.
Gluten-free or not, Pączki are best the day of!
Coffee or tea is nice, but a glass of milk goes with Pączki exceptionally well!
Now, here is the moment of truth!
How do they really look on the inside?
Airy and fluffy.
And, taste even better than they look. You’ll just have to take my word for it until you see it for yourself!
As Always, Eat Well, Spend Wisely!
- 2 ½ tsp (7g packet) ACTIVE dry yeast
- 1 tsp white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup warm water (MUST be 110ºF!)
- 2 whole large eggs + 4 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp white granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp potato vodka (optional)
- 1 ¼ cups warm milk (110ºF)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ½ cup potato starch (NOT flour!)
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp powdered psyllium husk
- 1½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp protein powder (optional)
- 1½-2 liters vegetable oil for frying
- Pour warm water into the bowl of a Kitchen Aid. This step is crucial! If the bowl is very cold, your water temperature will go down! Take the water temperature in the bowl and make sure it is in fact 110ºF! After making sure the water is 110ºF, add yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Whisk to dissolve. Let it rest in warm place for 10 minutes to proof yeast (it will slightly rise and look frothy).
- While yeast is proofing, gather all dry ingredients and whisk them with a hand whisk in a separate bowl.
- Add butter and coconut oil to warm milk to melt.
- Combine eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and sugar with proofed yeast mixture.
- Fit mixer with a paddle attachment and mix the yeast mixture on low speed.
- Alternate dry ingredients with milk, adding both a little at a time to the yeast mixture, running mixer on low speed.
- Scrape sides. Increase speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes, allowing the flours to hydrate.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to a warm place, free from draft, to rise, for 1 hr. I keep it in my oven, on bread proof setting (100ºF).
- Dust surface (counter, cutting board) with tapioca flour.
- Scoop out batter with the help of 1/4 cup ice cream scoop onto the floured surface. Dust more tapioca flour over top.
- Gently roll dough around to coat with tapioca flour.
- Roll a nice "meatball" in your hands.
- Arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Repeat until all dough is used up.
- Cover doughnuts with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and set aside in warm place to rise for another 40 minutes.
- Heat up oil to 350F (I have an electric stovetop and keep it on setting 6).
- Fry doughnuts on calm oil (350F), flipping it several times, until golden brown.
- Remove onto a cooling rack covered with paper towel to allow the excess of oil to be absorbed.
- Fit a pastry bag with a long tip (or use a squeeze bottle). Fill it up with strawberry jelly and fill each doughnut. Dust heavily with confectioners' sugar while still slightly warm.
- You can allow yourself to rise the dough only once. Simply scoop out dough with an ice cream scoop and drop it into hot oil.
- The doughnuts won't be as fluffy, but still very tasty.
- Traditionally, Pączki are made with vodka or spirit (95% pure alcohol). Why? Since Pączki are fried in deep oil, the alcohol prevents the doughnuts from "drinking" a lot of oil.