Whether enjoyed as a breakfast treat, dessert, or simply as a delightful snack with a cup of coffee or tea, Cheese Ring Doughnuts recipe provides a satisfyingly sweet and indulgent experience. Their crispy exterior, soft interior, and flavorful fillings make them a beloved part of Polish culinary heritage, delighting taste buds with each delightful bite.
During Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday) in Poland, donuts take the spotlight. Alongside the popular paczki filled with custard or jam, there are also regional variations like Silesian donuts and oponki.
Oponki aka Ring Doughnuts, resembling American donuts in shape, are crafted from a dough enriched with twarog known as curd cheese. These delightful ring-shaped treats are known for their light and fluffy texture. Sometimes referred to as oponki serowe, they earn this name due to dough made with cheese.
While the first documented donut recipe hails from an English cookbook dating back to 1803, paczki donuts have been enjoyed since the Middle Ages, with some versions even incorporating pork scratchings.
Interestingly, in the early 1900s, donuts were available for purchase at street corners on Fat Thursday. Vendors with wicker baskets would gather at Kercelak Market near present-day Okopowa Street, offering fresh donuts to passersby without the need for food stalls.
Donuts have a rich history spanning across various cultures. German donuts from the 15th century included meat fillings, but Arabian donuts from the same period were sugar-coated. Even earlier, the Greeks and Romans crafted honey-coated donuts.
Given the long-standing presence of donuts in diverse cultures, the exact origins of these cheese donuts, oponki, remain uncertain. Nonetheless, they have secured their place as a cherished treat for all to enjoy.
- 8.8 oz (250g) of lean twaróg (Polish curd cheese)
- 2 cups (250g) of flour
- half a stick of butter – about 4 tablespoons (57g)
- half a cup (100 g) of sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda (UK)*
- 2 caps (2 teaspoons) of rum (UK)* or simple vinegar will do
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder (UK)*
- 1 packet of vanilla sugar (UK)* (usually about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon of rose water (UK)* (optional)
- 1.1 lb (0.5kg) of lard for frying
- Well, let’s get started with the dough. First, sift the flour like a pro ;) Then, add sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and a dash of vanilla sugar. Give it all a good mix, and now it’s time for the butter. Cut it into little chunks and toss it in. Roll up your sleeves and knead the dough until it’s smooth and velvety.
Crumble that delicious cheese into the dough and mix it all up. Crack open a couple of eggs, add a splash or two of rum, and keep kneading until the dough is as smooth. The rum is not added for flavor but to reduce the absorption of oil during frying. This is my method; some also use spirits or vinegar for the same purpose. If the dough gets too sticky, don’t fret, just dust it with a bit of flour.
- Once your dough is ready, it’s time to shape those ring doughnuts. Grab your rolling pin and roll out the dough to about half an inch thick on a floured surface. Grab a glass and cut out some circles, about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Now, take a smaller glass or shot glass and cut out the centers to create those lovely rings. Make sure to dip the edges of the glasses in flour to prevent any sticking mishaps.
- Alright, let’s get frying! Heat up a good amount of lard in a deep frying pan or pot. We’re talking golden, sizzling perfection here. To check if the lard is hot enough, toss in a piece of raw potato. When it turns a nice golden brown, you’re good to go! Fry the ring doughnuts in batches, about 4-5 at a time, to keep things manageable. You want them to float freely and fry to a beautiful golden color on both sides. Once they’re cooked to perfection, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess grease.
- Last but not least, it’s time to sprinkle on the magic dust – powdered sugar! Give those ring doughnuts a generous coating of sweetness on both sides. Now, all that’s left to do is grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit back, and indulge in the cheesy goodness of these homemade delights. Remember, they’re best enjoyed fresh on the day they’re made, so gather your loved ones and dig in!
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What does oponki mean?
To pronounce Oponki correctly, say “o-pawn-kee.” The name “oponki” is derived from the Polish word “opona,” which means tire or inner tube, and it references the shape of these delectable goodies. Translating directly, oponki are “little tires” in English.
Can I add a different flavor to oponki?
While traditionally Oponki are enjoyed with a simple sprinkling of sugar, you have the option to add additional flavors. Enhance the dough by incorporating lemon zest, orange zest, or a dash of vanilla extract. Alternatively, you can top the Oponki with various options such as glazed sugar, chocolate glaze, sprinkles. Everything you would imagine to have doughnuts with.
How to serve oponki cheese ring doughnuts?
Oponki, these delightful cheese donuts, can be served either hot or cold, depending on your preference.
How to store oponki cheese ring doughnuts?
To keep Oponki fresh, store them in an airtight container on the countertop for 4 to 5 days. If desired, you can reheat the donuts before serving. Remember to add the sugar just before serving for the perfect finishing touch!
How easy is the recipe for cheese ring doughnuts?
The recipe for Cheese Ring Doughnuts is relatively easy to follow. It requires basic baking skills and a few common ingredients. The dough is made by combining cheese, flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and leavening agents. After preparing the dough, it is rolled out, cut into ring shapes, and fried until golden brown. The final step involves dusting the doughnuts with powdered sugar. Overall, with some patience and attention to detail, even novice bakers can successfully make these delicious Cheese Ring Doughnuts.
How long it will take to do the recipe?
Like in other doughnuts the same in this ring doughnuts recipe you can use yeast instead of baking powder and baking soda which will reduce the time to prepare the recipe.
If you using yeast generally, you can expect the process to take around 1 to 2 hours from start to finish. This includes preparing the dough, allowing it to rise, shaping the doughnuts, frying them, and coating them with powdered sugar. Keep in mind that factors such as dough rising time and frying batches in smaller quantities may affect the overall duration. It’s always a good idea to read through the recipe thoroughly and plan accordingly to ensure a smooth and enjoyable cooking experience.
If you decide to use baking powder instead of yeast in the Cheese Ring Doughnuts recipe, the preparation time can be significantly reduced. Unlike yeast, baking powder does not require the dough to rise for an extended period. With baking powder, the dough can be mixed and immediately shaped into doughnuts for frying.
Using baking powder, the preparation time for Cheese Ring Doughnuts can be shortened to approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. This includes mixing the ingredients, shaping the doughnuts, and frying them until golden brown. Since there is no need for the dough to rise, you can skip the waiting time typically associated with yeast-based dough.
Keep in mind that the texture and taste of the doughnuts may be slightly different when using baking powder instead of yeast. They may be slightly denser and have a slightly different flavor profile. Nonetheless, it provides a quicker alternative for those who prefer not to work with yeast or wish to save time.