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Watch: Fat Tuesday Is for Paczki

Time to make the doughnuts.

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Jelly doughnuts, those sweet round fritters found at nearly every American doughnut shop, are commonly used in celebrations throughout the world and throughout the year. Notably, they're brought out every year on Fat or Shrove Tuesday (otherwise known as Mardi Gras!), especially in the Midwestern U.S. and throughout Eastern Europe, as a sort of sweet feast before Lent. (Pancakes and king cakes are also commonly a part of these celebrations, which vary by region.) Paczki, the Polish word for jelly doughnut, are known as ponchiki in Russia and Bulgaria, pampushky in Ukraine, kobihy in the Czech Republic, munkki in Finland, berliners in German, and sufganiyah in Israeli (they're also typically served during Hanukkah). So how are they made? As the video above shows, a sweet, yeast-risen dough is mixed, kneaded, allowed to rest, and cut into circles. After a final rise, the plump pillows of dough are gently dropped into hot oil, fried on one side, and then flipped. Once they emerge from their hot oil bath they're cooled, filled with jam (or sometimes custard) and dusted with powdered sugar or blanketed in a light glaze.

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