It’s Fat Thursday today! The best day of the year for everyone with a sweet tooth out there! I decided to celebrate this awesome Polish tradition even though I’m far from my country. After all it’s hard to find a reason to skip a day like that!
Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday) is a day when the last week of the Carnival starts and everyone allows themselves to stuff their tummies with delicious sweet pastries, like in no other day of the year. The most common choice, next to faworki, are pączki (donut holes). A deep fried, yeasted dough, shaped into flat balls, filled with homemade confits, creams or other sweet fillings, usually glazed with icing, powdered sugar or dried orange zest. Sounds good? Well, pączki didn’t always look like this, they became a sweet treat only back in the XVI century. Before that, pączki were stuffed with bacon, lard or meet and were served as a polish tapas on the side of…vodka! (Surprising, huh? 😉 )
Sweet or savory, with a whole or without, small or big – everyone likes to enjoy a donut from time to time! I made a mini and more healthy version of this polish treat. They are the size of a lemon, stuffed with fresh raspberries and covered with mouth-watering raspberry glaze. Plus, you can eat more without regretting it on the next day because instead of deep-fried, they are baked in the oven! One more thing, the legend has it that if you won’t eat at least one donut on Fat Thursday you won’t have luck for the rest of the year. Pretty good reason to grab one, huh?
BAKED RASPBERRY DONUT HOLES WITH RASPBERRY GLAZE
(for about 20-22 mini donuts)
370 g wheat flour
100 ml warm milk
50 g fresh yeast, room temperature
50 g sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
3/4 tsp salt
170 g butter, softened
1 egg white, beaten
150 powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
In a big bowl, dissolve the yeast, 1 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of flour in the warm milk. Set aside for about 15 minutes until it becomes very bubbly. In another bowl combine the rest of the flour, sugar and salt. Add the yeast liquid and mix with a spoon. Add the eggs (one at a time), stirring constantly (with your hands or kitchen robot), until the dough is smooth. Add the butter (little by little), keep working the dough for another 8 minutes or until it will be elastic and moist but not sticky. Form a ball from the dough and leave it in a clean, greased bowl in a warm place, covered with a kitchen rag, for about 1 hour (the dough should rise until doubled).
Then, transfer the dough to a floured board and form not too flat circle using your hands. Cut medium circles with a glass or metal ring, put 1 raspberry to each circle and fold, creating a little ball. Transfer the formed donuts to paper baking cups (like for muffins) or to a greased and floured baking tray. Set aside, covered with a kitchen rag, for about ½ hour and let rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the donuts with the beaten egg white and transfer to the baking tray. Bake for about 14-16 minutes until golden brown (you will probably have to work in two batches). Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile make the glaze. Mix the raspberries with lemon juice and add the powdered sugar. If the icing is not thick enough add more sugar. Decorate the donuts with your raspberry glaze and set aside for about 10 minutes to set. Enjoy 🙂