If I asked such a question, most of us would react: who doesn’t?! But if I asked if you have ever made them, probably very few would answer positively.
Why? Because donut preparation is seen as difficult and time-consuming. I have made them many times and know the process is simple. However, you do need a few spare hours.
So here comes the good news: if you would like to have the homemade donut experience but only have a little time to spare, you can make Polish Racuchy – Yeast Pancakes that taste just like donuts. Jump to Recipe
Racuchy are a beloved dish enjoyed in Poland for generations. Their origins can be traced back to traditional Polish cuisine. It features many delicious dishes passed down through families for centuries.
And while these Polish pancakes with yeast have many variations, the basic ingredients usually include flour, eggs, milk, sugar and yeast.
The name “racuchy” probably comes from the Polish word “raczyć,” which means “to treat” or “to indulge.” And it is really a perfect name, as racuchy are often seen as a special treat.
They are enjoyed on special occasions for dessert, as a weekend breakfast or …made by grandmas for their grandchildren as probably no kid wouldn’t want them.
The ingredients required to make these yeast raised pancakes are almost the same as the ones for doughnuts. However, the preparation is so much easier and faster!
When you make donuts, you have to beat the eggs with sugar for a long time, knead the dough even longer, and then spend quite a while forming and frying them.
In the case of racuchy, you can mix almost everything with a wooden spoon, and no kneading is necessary! Forming and frying is also much easier and shorter.
But what about the taste?
The yeast pancakes do taste similar to doughnuts. They are golden and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, with a subtle sweetness that makes them a crowd-pleaser. However, their texture is slightly heavier than doughnuts.
Racuchy are pretty thick but flattened because they are not deep-fried like donuts. So you don’t stuff them with filling. But you can serve them with so many delicious accompaniments. You can eat them with your favourite jam, honey, chocolate, or powdered sugar to get this instant donut experience.
The above serving suggestions are great. But you can alter the pancakes already during the preparation.
One of the most popular types of racuchy is made with apples, a staple fruit in Polish cuisine. You make these Polish apple pancakes by mixing the dough with grated apples. Then you serve them with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of honey.
Another popular variation is racuchy made with blueberries, raisins, rhubarb or even savoury ingredients like cheese and herbs.
You can also experiment with different toppings and flavourings to make them even more exciting.
Add a dash of cinnamon or vanilla extract to the batter for a more flavorful twist. Alternatively, drizzle them with honey, maple syrup, or chocolate sauce for a decadent treat. Or – for a healthier option – serve them with fresh fruit, compote or fruit in jelly.
If you would like to make sure your racuchy will be fluffy, golden and delicious, you will have to remember a few essential points:
1. Are Polish racuchy the same as American pancakes?
No, they are different. They are pancakes with yeast instead of baking powder, which gives them a slightly tangy flavour but also helps achieve very fluffy pancakes. They are also smaller and thicker than American pancakes.
2. Can I make these Polish pancakes without yeast but with baking powder or baking soda instead?
No, yeast is an essential ingredient in racuchy. It makes them rise and gives them their characteristic texture and flavour. However, you could use instant yeast instead.
3. How do I store leftover yeast pancakes?
They taste best when they are fresh and hot. But if you have leftover pancakes, you can store them in the fridge and reheat them in the microwave before serving. They will lose their crispiness but still be nice and fluffy.
Polish racuchy or yeast pancakes are a delicious breakfast option or a treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth. They are easy to make and taste like donuts. You can make these fluffy but crispy pancakes with the right ingredients in no time.
So, why not give them a try? Your taste buds will thank you!