Monday, January 16, 2012

Paczki and Breakfast Pizza for a Wintery Morning

Our luck ran out and we've had a couple of snowy days that have blanketed our beautiful landscape, so what better way to make the most of it than with baking!  I decided to make up some quick yeast doughs--pizza and paczki (pronounced poochki) to make our breakfast a little special after my hubby shoveled the driveway and the deck.

Today, happens to be the anniversary of the doughnut, as we know it in America.  In 1847, Captain Hanson Crocket Gregory of Rockport, Maine, is credited with putting the "hole" in the middle of fried cakes, creating what we know today as doughnuts.  The story goes, that while at sea, during a storm, he lost his balance and slammed the fried cake down on a spoke of the ship's wheel--what had once been a soggy middle was gone!  Paczkis are Polish doughnuts and I was introduced to them through one of my dearest friends who sent me some from a bakery in her area.  They may not have a hole, but the addition of homemade jam made them the perfect treat with my cocoa this morning and with proper frying, no soggy middle--LOL!

For my hubby, I made up a pizza dough and topped it with veggie sausage, scrambled egg, and Fontina cheese for all his hard work in shoveling.
Sweet for me and savory for my husband on this cold, wintery day.  Can't wait for Spring, but as long as I have pantry supplies, we won't starve!

2 T granulated sugar
2 T butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed to 110F-degrees
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2 to 2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour

Peanut oil for frying
your favorite jam or jelly
confectioners' sugar

In a medium bowl, stir the butter and sugar together, then add the warm milk and stir to incorporate. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and stir.  Let it set for 5-7 minutes to proof.  
 Add the vanilla and eggs and stir again.  Start adding the flour, one-half cup at a time until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky.  Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth.  
 Brush the bowl with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.  Place the dough, upside down, then, turn it over.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour or until doubled.
  When doubled, punch down the dough and lightly flour the bread board surface.  Roll dough to about 1/2-inch thickness and with a 3-inch round cutter, cut out 12 rounds.  Place on a lightly floured pan and cover with a cloth to rise again.
Heat a heavy Dutch oven with 2 inches of peanut oil to 350F-degrees.  Use a thermometer attached to the side to insure accuracy.
I cooked 4 at a time, being careful not to over crowd the pan and lower the temperature of the oil.  Cook 2 minutes, then, flip the paczkis and cook another 2 minutes.

The tops should be a golden brown.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before filling with jam.
I used a #230 tip to pierce and fill the paczkis.  If you don't have that tip, make a slit in the side with a sharp knife and fill with a large round tip.
Finally, dust the tops with confectioners' sugar before serving.
The tender doughnut with scrumptious Cherry~Cranberry jam was just the thing to shake the winter blahs.  Yum!

Breakfast Pizza
3 cups 00 Flour or Perfect Pizza Blend flour 
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp.  + 1 T granulated sugar
2 T olive oil (more for brushing on top)
1 T yeast

Pizza stone
Veggie sausage
undercooked scrambled eggs (2 large per pizza)
Fontina cheese

Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (105F-degrees) with the 1 tsp. sugar.  Whisk to combine and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes until foamy.
In a food processor or a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine flour salt, and the remaining sugar.  Pulse several times to combine, if using the processor, or mix on medium speed to blend.

Add the proofed yeast and olive oil and mix.  Add enough additional warm water for the dough to come together.  Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth.  Spray a gallon-sized food bag with a baking spray and place dough inside.  Seal the bag and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450F-degrees
Take about one-third of the dough and roll out to a 5" x 12" rectangle.
Transfer to a pizza peel, sprinkled with cornmeal, and lightly brush the surface with olive oil.
Bake the dough in the oven for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
Top with about a cup of cheese, then, distribute the egg and sausage over top.  Add additionally cheese, if desired and bake another 5 to 7 minutes until golden browned and melted.
I love baking when it's cold outside because it gives a warmth to the house with aroma as well as temperature.  As we're expecting a few more days of this "white" stuff, I suppose the oven will get a workout.  Enjoy!


  1. Just got back from the gym and it's about 6o degrees and sunny here in central CA...Can I come by for some snow and a few yummy, jam-filled paczkis? I'll bring the coffee! Reminds me of all the donuts my sister and I used to make when we were kids. These look a whole lot more fun! Stay warm!! Hugs!

    1. Make mine tea...and can I bring them to your house? 60 degrees sounds a lot better than what we have!

    2. Tea it is! And, how do you design for this groovy reply format in your comments? I like this function. Very personal.

  2. That is one spoiled hubby! If I recall right, Paczki day is the day before Ash Wednesday...and last year when my son was born, I went into labor on Paczki day. Everyone was excited thinking he'd be born that same day and they all wanted to nickname him Paczki and for tradition, make him them for his Bday cake! LOL

    1. You're right, Allison. Paczki are traditionally made before the start of Lent, but they're so easy to whip up and I couldn't resist!

  3. I'm not sure which looks better. I've always wanted to try and make filled donuts. Yumm.

    1. They're very easy to make and are a true comfort food!

  4. That egg pizza looks good. who would have thought to put egg on a pizza....not me.
    stamping sue

  5. OH Packzi are the bomb around here and OF COURSE, you used the world's best jam ever!

    1. I know...where do you think I got the idea from!

  6. Hey sweet Susan, this is GREAT...and to think, only 45 minutes north of where we live. I love Rockport, now even more so.

    Sending a big, warm hug north to you,


    1. Thanks Sharon--today is another winter blast with snow and wind so I can use all the warm hugs I can get ;-)!