Paczki after all these years

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Every year on Fat Tuesday, guests call us to place their paczki orders. Every year, we’ve hung our heads and explained that we don’t make them. But now, after 18 years, we can finally say that we're making paczki!

UPDATE AS OF FEBRUARY 26TH...WE ARE NO LONGER TAKING PREORDERS.
ON FAT TUESDAY WE'LL HAVE 100 PACZKI TO SELL ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE BASIS.

It took our sales guy, Randy Brown, who grew up in the baking world, to make this happen. Randy has us making traditional paczki. That means we’re using a little Spiritus, Polish grain alcohol with a scary proof content, in the dough. It’s flavorless and you probably won’t taste it, but it keeps the dough from absorbing too much oil. (Interesting little baking trick we’re going to experiment with in our other fried doughs.) We will have two traditional fillings: powidla, which is stewed plum jam, and rosehip jam, which is made from the buds of rose bushes. We’ll also have newer, Polish-American fillings of raspberry preserves, vanilla custard or sweetened cream cheese. The pazcki will be slightly more spherical (traditional shape) than a jelly-filled donut. Some will be glazed with icing and others will be covered in powdered sugar.

Let me share just a little paczki history with you. They were created in Poland during the Middle Ages. In Poland they are actually eaten on Fat Thursday, the last day before Lent. Although we’re usually sticklers for authenticity, we’re going to stay with the thriving Polish-American tradition of Detroit/Hamtramck, Chicago, and Cleveland to avoid unnecessary confusion. Polish Jews actually ate them during Hanukah (fried foods being traditional during Hanukah) and then took the tradition to Israel where they are now called sufganyot in Hebrew! So if you like them on March 8th, join us on the eve of Hanukah, December 20th, 2011 and we’ll make them again!

-Amy Emberling- Bakehouse managing partner and lover of fried doughs