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.
In a large bowl, crumble yeast in lukewarm milk. Add 2 cups flour. Stir well, and allow to rest 1 hour in a warm place.
Soften chopped raisins in warm water for 30 minutes.
Beat 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.
On 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.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Drop 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).
Per Serving: 124 calories; protein 2.4g; carbohydrates 16.2g; fat 5.5g; cholesterol 24.3mg; sodium 62.3mg.
The quality of the flour could make a real difference to your bread. Different makers do vary. Great taste or Canadian flours, which are naturally higher in gluten, may give you a better rise than standard bread flours – especially if you’re make wholemeal dough , which not always rise as well as clear bread.
To made this in a dough , add all the ingredients to your breadmaker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
A bread first rising can be make in the fridge overnight . This slows down the time it takes to rise to double its size, giving it a deeper flavour. It’s also a great limit , as you can work it yesterday , then finish it off the next day.