Paczki or Polish Doughnuts
2 tablespoons instant yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 3/4 cup warm milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely minced
6-8 cups all purpose flour Oil for frying
Jam, for filling, optional
In a large mixing bowl, stir the water and yeast together and let stand 2 minutes.
Add in the milk and 2 cups of the flour and stir. Cover and let stand for 40 minutes. Then add in the egg yolks, egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, lemon zest and most of the remaining flour. Knead on slow speed of mixer, adding more flour as required to form soft dough, about 6-8 minutes. (Softer dough will give you lighter doughnuts so take care not to make the dough too firm)
Cover and allow to rise until almost doubled, about 30-45 minutes
Gently deflate the dough. Press out on a lightly floured board to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a round biscuit of 3 inch dough cutter. Place each doughnut on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spray tops with non stick cooking spray and lightly cover with plastic sheeting. Let rise until very light, about 35-40 minutes.
Heat the oil to 370F in a large fryer. Fryer a few doughnuts at a time, turning once, until nicely browned, a few minutes time each.
Drain well and sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
Makes 3-4 dozen, depending on size
Comments:These are big in Detroit but would be very welcome at Chanukah. If you prefer these pareve, use unsalted margarine instead of butter, and water to replace the milk.