Paczki, where to find them and how to make them

(UPDATED 2/12) Fat Tuesday is among us again and while we think of Mardi Gras and those awesome beads you can acquire by the dozen, we also think about the food. To be more specific, we mean the infamous – in terms of the health benefits, that is – and delicious paczki. Just typing the name makes my mouth water.
Ariel Shuey
Feb 11, 2013

We found some local bakeries that are currently in the process of making your visions of paczki come true.

• One of the more popular Polish bakeries in the area is opening at 4 a.m. on Fat Tuesday and continues the celebration even after the Paczkis are gone. To make sure that everyone gets their fill, Kiedrowski Bakery, 2267 E. Cooper Foster Park Road in Amherst, is opening their doors until 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
- 2267 E. Cooper Foster Park Road, Amherst; 4 a.m.-6 p.m. for Fat Tuesday

Jolly Donut, located at 2815 Milan (U.S. 250) Road in Sandusky, opens their doors on Tuesday at 6 a.m. for anyone who wants their tasty Polish dessert fix.
- 2815 Milan Road, Sandusky; 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

**UPDATE 2/12: We found out this morning that Jolly Donut is selling fasnacht kuechles, too.

• Super centers aren’t missing out on the fun either. Bassett’s, Kroger, Meijer and Walmart have already put their Paczkis out, and are going to continue to make them until their ingredients run out.
Bassett’s Market
- 3994 E. Harbor Rd., Port Clinton; 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
- 228 W. Main St., Bellevue; 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
Kroger
- 508 W. Perkins Ave., Sandusky; Open 24 hours
- 2028 E. Harbor Rd., Port Clinton; 6 a.m.-5 p.m.
- 134 S. 5th St., Fremont; 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
- 1316 Oak Harbor Rd., Fremont; 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Meijer
- 4702 Milan Rd., Sandusky; Open 24 hours
Walmart
- 5500 Milan Rd., Sandusky; Open 24 hours
- 2826 E. Harbor Rd., Port Clinton; 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
- 340 Westwind Dr., Norwalk; Open 24 hours

If picking one up from a store is considered “cheating” in your eyes, don’t worry, I checked out some recipes for Paczkis and found this simple, but delicious one on EasternEuropeanFood.com, if you’re brave enough to attempt making the dessert a home.

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
2 rises: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 51 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen Polish Paczki

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups warm milk (no warmer than 110 degrees)
-2 packages active dry yeast (remember to proof yeast before you begin)
-1/2 cup sugar
-4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature butter
-1 large room-temperature egg
-3 large room-temperature egg yolks
-1 tablespoon brandy or rum
-1 teaspoon salt
-4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
-1 gallon oil for deep frying
-Granulated sugar (optional)
-Confectioner's sugar (optional)
-Fruit paste for filling (optional)

Preparation:
Add yeast to warm milk, stir to dissolve and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs, brandy and salt until well-incorporated.

Still using the paddle attachment, add 4 1/2 cups flour alternately with the milk-yeast mixture and beat for 5 or more minutes by machine and longer by hand until smooth. My grandmother used to beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it blistered. Dough will be very slack. If too soft, add remaining 1/2 cup flour, but no more.

Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 hours or follow this Quick Tip to cut the rise time. Punch down and let rise again.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Pat or roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut rounds with 3-inch biscuit cutter. Remove scraps, and re-roll and re-cut. Cover and let rounds rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer.

Heat oil to 350 degrees in large skillet or Dutch oven. Place pączki top-side down (the dry side) in the oil a few at a time and fry 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Flip them over and fry another 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure the oil doesn't get too hot so the exterior doesn't brown before the interior is done. Test a cool one to make sure it's cooked through. Adjust cooking time and oil heat accordingly.

Drain pączki on paper towels or brown paper bags, and roll in granulated sugar while still warm. Note: You can poke a hole in the side of the pączki and, using a pastry bag, squeeze in a dollop of the filling of choice. Then dust filled pączki with granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar or glaze.

Pączki don't keep well, so gobble them up the same day you make them or freeze.

This recipe, in whole, was found at http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/desserts/r/Paczki.htm. Check out Eastern European Food for more delicious Eastern-inspired recipes.

Comments

wiredmama222

The ones at Walmart are a bit dry. Haven't had the ones at Jolly Donut yet but anything from there is ALWAYS good.

Kelly

It's a jelly donut. You can get them anywhere all year long,

Morgan Addingto...

We would like to clarify that paczki are not the same as donuts. We were informed at Jolly Donut that they have ingredients donuts do not have, such as eggs and shortening.

Kelly

It's still just a jelly donut

Kimo

In the poor ethnic hood I grew up in, it was a once a year treat.
In the next twenty years of so they may become a once a year treat.
They may be made to celebrate the Chinese New Year?
.

Morgan Addingto...

Paczki are actually made to celebrate Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, the day before Lent begins.