I know what you’re thinking.
“Homemade doughnuts?! Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
But do you know what I’m thinking?
Well, right now I’m thinking about the amazing meal I had at Henrietta Red last night. But! What I was thinking before was how you totally have time for doughnuts. These doughnuts.
Because I figured out you can make this dough the night before, let it do a slow rise in the fridge while you’re snoozing, then wake up in the AM and fry these beauties up! Just in time for Fat Tuesday! Technically Paczki, these Polish balls of love (much like myself) are meant to use up the remaining sugar, lard, butter, and flour before the beginning of the Lenten season. But if you have leftover butter, sugar, and flour I’m sure we can find something to do with them.
We got time for that.
Overnight Paczki (makes 2 ½ dozen doughnuts)
2 cups whole milk, warmed to 105 – 110 degrees
3 ½ TBSP yeast (two packages)
¾ cup + pinch granulated sugar
6 – 7 cups flour, divided
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
Canola oil & shortening, for frying
In the bowl of a stand mixer stir together the milk, yeast, and pinch of sugar. Allow to sit for five minutes, until foamy and fragrant.
Stir in 2 ½ cups flour until a loose, runny batter forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm spot to rise for 30 minutes. Mixture should double in size and be very bubbly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, vanilla, salt, and butter until light and creamy.
After the batter has risen, fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and begin to mix on low speed. Pour in the egg mixture and increase to medium speed to combine. Begin to add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until a tacky dough comes together. Beat on medium-high for about five minutes. It will not pull away from the sides of the bowl, but if touched your finger should come back clean and free of dough.
Spray a large plastic storage container with baking spray and place dough inside. Seal tightly and place in fridge overnight.
In the morning, roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface. Dust top of dough and rolling pin with flour, as well as a 3-inch round cutter.
Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets sprayed with baking spray and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place somewhere warm to rise for 30 – 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
When ready to fry – add enough canola oil and shortening to a large, heavy bottomed pot for it to reach 2 inches up the sides. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Set a cooling rack over a paper towel-lined baking sheet for doughnuts to drain once removed from oil.
While doughnuts are still warm roll in powdered sugar, granulated sugar, or cinnamon sugar.
For the fig preserve-filled and goat cheese glazed paczki:
Using a chopstick or cake tester, make a small hole in the center of the doughnut so there is room to put a piping tip inside. Fill with fig preserves and top with a goat cheese glaze made of 4 oz. goat cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
*Recipe adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker
*When proofing dough I like to put it in my oven with the light left on. It creates just the right amount of warm environment for the yeast to do its thing!