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This is the 'traditional' ponczki made by most Polish Grandmothers, like mine. These take time and patience, but the product is worth it. Preferred, traditional frying method is with lard but oil will work fine. I usually mix equal portions. Grandma used a large paper bag, and dropped them in immediately after removing from the fryer. The bag absorbs a lot of the oil. Then, she transferred them to another clean bag, added her choice of coating, and shook the bag.
Prep30 Mins
Cook40 Mins
Ready310 Mins


  • 1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast
  • 2 cups milk, lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying


  1. 1In a large bowl, crumble yeast in lukewarm milk. Add 2 cups flour. Stir well, and allow to rest 1 hour in a warm place.
  2. 2Soften chopped raisins in warm water for 30 minutes.
  3. 3Beat egg, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, melted butter, salt, and orange zest. Add to yeast sponge. Stir in raisins; add egg mixture and mix until combined. Add 4 cups flour and mix well, forming smooth ball. Dough will be somewhat soft, but not batter-like. Cover dough, and allow to rise until fully doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, let rise until double again, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  4. 4On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, divide it into 12 pieces; keep other pieces of dough covered while you work. Roll the pieces into 1/2 inch balls; set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Continue shaping remaining dough.
  5. 5Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  6. 6Drop 2 or 3 at a time into hot fat, turn when deep golden brown. If removed too soon, dough will be under-done inside. When doughnuts are browned, drain briefly on paper towels and dust with confectioners' sugar or cinnamon sugar (see Cook's Note).
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