Pączki Polish Pastries – Toledo City Paper

Sautter’s Market continues the Fat Tuesday tradition

Fat Tuesday is a special time for this Louisiana girl, and I have to admit I was a little sad to be away from home where all the donut shops in town bake cream cheese-filled king cakes made with buttery cinnamon batter. and topped with green, golden and purple sugar, each with a small plastic baby hidden to indicate the visit of the Three Wise Men to Jesus. Epiphany. It means the beginning of Carnival time and the decadence that turns into a fever on Fat Tuesday (Carnival)when (if you get it right) you indulge yourself like you have no chance until Lent ends.

When I got the news that king cakes weren’t the only confectionery wonder to enjoy on Fat Tuesday, I knew I had to try them. Donuts? How do you say it? What are you? Where can I get my hands on some?

We went to Sautter’s Market to try theirswhich are reputed to be some of the best in town. Jim and David Sautter took us back to the bakery, where we got a behind-the-scenes look – and a bit of history – about what some would call a Polish donut.

IMG_8878Baker Erich Wolf setting up the gas station.

One last hurray

Jim explains how the tradition developed Polish communities: “The day after Fat Tuesday is Ash Wednesday when people give up, ”he says. “The tradition was for Poles to take anything in their house that could be made into something sweet, put it together before Fat Tuesday and made it a part their last hurray before they give up on sweets. “

A pączki is a little different from a traditional donut in that it is a firm piece of dough that can be filled with any number of fillings and dusted with sugar. The dough is often made a little different than that of donuts, which leads to a more relaxed rise.

Jim can remember when the Pączki craze first began in northwest Ohio. It spread from Hamtramck, a Polish community in Detroit where people lined up in front of small bakeries Donut of the day, hoping to get a helping of traditional indulgence. Jim’s son David remembers baking them as a kid in the bakery while powdered sugar dusts the prep room like snow.


It is pronounced “punshki”

Sautter sold around 16,000 pączki (the plural of pączki is pączki, as Bob Sautter explained to us) last year, which is not unusual for them. Demand is high until the evening of Fat Tuesday, when people who come home from work want to pick something up before they sell out. Sautter’s actually has a Pączki crew to make sure there is a steady (and fresh) supply.

“We have a crew all night,” says Jim. “We can hardly keep up with demand”

After taking a tour of their bakery and all we saw, ooh and ahh, we got to try a lemon-filled pączki and the triple bypass, a very popular option, filled with Bavarian cream, peanut butter, and chocolate. It was everything I imagined, a fresh, made-to-order pączki with plenty of powdered sugar that landed on our faces and on our clothes. We didn’t mind. It was worth it.

“We take loving care of each and every one of us,” says Jim. “You won’t get a stale one. We let the dough rise and serve it while it is still moist. They are almost too easy to eat. “

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