I Can’t Stop Giggling at the Startling Way Paczki are Made
Do I love pastries? Yes. Am I immature? Also yes.
Paczki, the Polish pastry most closely related to the American doughnut, are about to step back into the spotlight. As a traditional dessert to enjoy on Fat Thursday (February 18th this year), it's a sweet addition to the observation of Lent... but I still can't get over how they're made.
First... How Do You Say It?
For the uninitiated, Paczki are delicious to eat but rather difficult to say. Deising's Bakery in Kingston, NY (a childhood favorite of mine) tells us the pastry is pronounced "punch-key" or "poonch-key". The bakery is offering Paczki in eight different flavors this year.
Paczki in the Hudson Valley, NY
There's an impressive Paczki fandom right here in the Hudson Valley. A large Polish population in our corner of New York state means that many local bakeries are putting Paczki production into high gear. Some Paczki pros, like the above-mentioned Deising's, recently gave a peek behind the curtain as to how these delicious dough balls are... uh... filled.
How to Make Paczki
Listen, we're all adults here, but there was still something that feels strangely forbidden about watching Deising's making-of video (below) at work. After the dough is mixed, proofed (pronounced "proved"), and baked, filling must be added. I just didn't know there was so much motion involved.
Getting Our Minds Out of the Gutter
As the demonstration shows, this ain't no one-and-done maneuver. The rather girthy injector is inserted deep into the powdered pastry, and spends more than a few seconds inside (the baker needs to make sure they're thoroughly filled, after all). These Paczki are even done two at a time. After they're topped off, the Polish treats join their brethren on a massive tray, awaiting the eager mouths of the hungry Hudson Valley faithful.
Can't get enough of Hudson Valley desserts? Check out where you can find the mythical PieCaken below, and keep scrolling to find out which brave ice cream shops are staying open all winter long.