Polish “Angel Wings” {Faworki; Chrust; Chruściki}

Fat Thursday  is a traditional Catholic custom celebrated on the last Thursday before Lent in Poland (not Tuesday, like it is observed in the US). This popular tradition is marked by people consuming large amounts of sweet pastries for most meals that day. I often opt for a minimal breakfast then indulge in eating donuts and faworki without reservations for the rest of the day. Cafés are full of happy customers sipping on coffee and enjoying a guilt-free dessert. Many employers will have boxes or sweet pastries delivered for their employees to extend the celebrations. It is a well-known custom and EVERYONE’S participating.

With access to really delicious donuts fried at many local pastry shops, we rarely made pączki at home. But we always made faworki. Faworki [fah-voh-rkee], also known as chrust* [h-roost] or chruściki [h-roo-sh-chee-kee] are crispy and light, fried pastries covered in powdered sugar. They would be made only a couple of times a year in my home. Once, for Fat Thursday and maybe one other time for a special treat. And special treat they are.

Polish Angel Wings {Faworki; Chrust; Chruściki}

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 45 - 60 min

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups of bread flour + 1/2 c for dusting
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbs of butter melted and cooled
  • 3 tbs of sour cream
  • 2 tbs of 75% / 151 proof alcohol
  • Pinch of salt
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, place flour and salt. In a separate bowl mix eggs with sour cream. Add to flour. Start mixing to combine. Add butter and alcohol and continue to mix until dough forms.

  2. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and transfer dough onto it. Continue kneading and punching the dough for about 10 minutes. Help yourself with a rolling pin.

  3. Cut a small section of the dough and roll out into thin sheet. With a pizza cutter cut into 1 inch / 3 cm strips, and then each strip into a smaller pieces - see photo below.

  4. Cut a small slit in the middle of each piece. Bring the bottom of the piece up toward the slit and pull it through the slit to create the curly sides.

  5. In a deep frying pan / cast iron skillet heat oil (enough oil to be about 2 inches in depth) and fry dough strips until golden brown. You will have to flip them. Remove and place on a sheet covered with paper towels. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

*The word “chrust” in Polish means brush; dried sticks used to fuel the fire. I imagine this delicate pastry was called that because of its resemblance to it. All three names (faworki, chrust, chrusciki) are used in Poland to describe this desert currently. The region I’m from (West Pomerania) uses the word faworki most often. It seems the name evolved a bit here in the US and a vast variety of descriptions can be found. Please do share what name your family used to describe this delicious dessert.

Hope you enjoy!

Smacznego Anna

 

Tools used:

KitchenAid mixer with the hook attachment

KitchenAid pasta roller attachment

Cast iron skillet

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