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Paczki

2 cakes crushed yeast
1 c. lukewarm milk
1 c. flour
1 T. sugar
8 egg yolks
2/3 c. powdered sugar
2 T. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
3 T. rum

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk, sift in 1 c.
flour, add 1 T. sugar, mix, cover, and let stand in warm place to
make sponge.

Beat 8 egg yolks with 2/3 c. powdered sugar and vanilla
until fluffy.

Sift 2 1/2 c. flour into bowl, add sponge, egg mixture, and rum,
and knead well until dough is smooth and glossy. Gradually add 1
stick melted lukewarm butter and continue kneading dough until it
no longer clings to hands and bowl and air blisters appear. Cover
with cloth and let rise in warm place until doubled. Punch dough
down and let it rise again. Transfer dough to floured board, sprinkle
top with flour, and roll out about 1/2" inch thick. With glass or
biscuit-cutter, cut into rounds. Arrange on floured board and
proceed in either of the following ways:

SMALL PACZKI. Place a spoonful of fruit filling (rose-hip preserves,
cherry preserves, or other thick jam) off center on each round.
Raise edges of dough and pinch together over filling, then roll
between palms snowball fashion to form balls. Let rise in warm
place until doubled.

LARGE PACZKI. Place a spoonful of fruit filling as above on only
1/2 dough rounds, cover each with another round, pinch edges
together, and roll between palms to form a ball. Let rise until
doubled in warm, draft-free place.

Heat 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. lard in deep pan so paczki can float freely
during frying. It is hot enough when a small piece of dough dropped
into hot fat immediately floats up. Fry paczki under cover without
crowding several minutes until nicely browned on bottom, then turn
over and fry uncovered on other side another 3 minutes or so.

Note: If using electric fryer, set temperature to 360-375 degrees.
If frying in stove-top pan and fat begins to burn, add several
slices of peeled raw potato which will both lower the temperature
and absorb the burnt flavor. Paczki may also be fried in oil, but
lard produces the tastiest results. If you are cutting down on
animal fats, you can compromise by using a lard and oil combination.
Transfer fried paczki to absorbent paper and set aside to cool.
When cool, dust generously with powdered sugar, glaze or icing.

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