1383 Buns or doughnuts

Pyshki ili ponchki


  • 1 glass milk together with yeast
  • 1 spoon sugar
  • ⅛–¼ lb butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • salt
  • 1⅛ teaspoons cinnamon or some other flavoring
  • ½ glass jam without juice
  • lbs flour in all
  • For sprinkling on the doughnuts, 4–5 pieces sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 lb butter and 1 lb pork or goose fat for frying the doughnuts


About 5 hours before dinner prepare a dough as usual from 1 glass milk, yeast (1 zolotnik will cost ½ kopeck), and 2 glasses flour and set in a warm place to rise. After the dough has risen (in about 2 hours), beat thoroughly with a small spatula and add salt, ⅛–¼ lb firm butter that is not too cold, 4 egg yolks beaten with 1 spoon sugar, and the remaining flour, saving a little to sprinkle on the table. Add ½ teaspoon cinnamon or 5–6 cardamom seeds, lemon zest, or vanilla, and about 2 spoons maraschino [liqueur], Kirschwasser, or rum. Beat the dough thoroughly with your hands or a small spatula, and set in a warm place for ½–1 hour. The dough must be thick enough so that it can barely be rolled out on the table, lightly sprinkled with flour.

After ½–1 hour, spread the prepared dough on the table, roll out into two circles almost the thickness of a finger, and sprinkle lightly with flour, as already indicated. Place half-teaspoons of jam without juice in little piles on one of these sheets, so that this amount of dough yields 24 buns. Cover evenly with the other sheet and cut out the doughnuts with a glass. Place the doughnuts on a baking sheet lightly strewn with flour and set in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes. The lightness of the buns depends on not leaving them for too long—if they rise too much on the baking sheet, the dough will lose its strength and turn leaden when put into oil because it will not be able to rise further.

Bring to a boil equal proportions of goose or pork fat and Russian butter.* Drop in 5–6 doughnuts at a time, and fry over a low fire, covered, so that the fat and butter boil steadily and do not burn. When the doughnuts have browned and are cooked, remove them from the fat with a slotted spoon. Immediately sprinkle them with sugar mixed with cinnamon and place them in a sieve on blotting paper. Then arrange them on a platter and serve hot.

The doughnuts are better still if the dough is thinner, but since that makes it more difficult to roll out on the table, simply spread out the dough on the table and cut it into 24 pieces. Stretch the pieces into small flat cakes in your hands. (If necessary, lightly grease your hands with oil or butter so that the dough does not stick to them.) Place jam on each piece, pinch shut, roll into a ball, and smooth all around, etc.

Applesauce may be used instead of jam: Bake 3 apples, rub through a sieve, add ¼ glass sugar, and boil, stirring until the mixture thickens.

*At this point Molokhovets recommended adding “1–2 spoons spirits (to prevent the doughnuts from becoming too greasy).” Let me warn readers against that practice, however, since it is extremely hazardous to add either water or alcohol to boiling fat. The liquid will cause the fat to splatter or even catch fire.