Where to find pączki on Fat Tuesday in Dayton

Deep-fried doughnut goodness.

That’s the pączki (pronounced "pownch-key") in a nutshell. They are deep-fried pieces of dough shaped into flattened spheres and filled with fruit and cream fillings — everything from strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, apricot, custard, chocolate and cream.

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Pączki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing or granulated sugar. Traditionally, grain alcohol was included in the recipe to prevent the pastries from getting oily.

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Different from ordinary doughnuts, paczki are made with more eggs and sugar to render a sweeter result. (Jim Ingram)

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“Pączki is our basic doughnut dough but with some added richness,” including extra eggs, sugar and shortening, said Jennifer Evans, owner at Evans Bakery in Old North Dayton.

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The pączki is a “Polish twist” on the doughnut that has a lot to do with the Catholic faith, said Theresa Hammond, owner of Ashley’s Pastry Shop in Oakwood.

Traditionally, Paczki were filled with lemon cream, but have since evolved into a wide variety of flavors. (Jim Ingram)

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In Poland, pączki are eaten especially on Fat Thursday, the last Thursday prior to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. In American, that takes place on Fat Tuesday.

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“The pączki even though they’re Polish in ethnicity, they’re a lot like our American filled doughnuts; the dough is just a lot richer and sweeter than a typical doughnut,” Hammond said. “Keep in mind this is your last big treat if you’re going to give up something for Lent as far as a sweet treat.”

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Find pączki on Fat Tuesday at the following local bakeries: 

Ashley’s Pastry Shop, 21 Park Ave., Dayton. Open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Info: 937-293-1719. Cost: $1.25 each.

Evans Bakery, 700 Troy St., Dayton. Open 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Info: 937-228-4151. Cost: $1.25 each; $15 per dozen. 

- Dayton-area Kroger stores; locations vary. Cost: 4 for $2.99, a dozen for $8.99.

- Dorothy Lane Market stores, multiple locations: 2710 Far Hills Ave, Dayton | 6177 Far Hills Ave, Dayton | 740 N Main St, Springboro. They’re carrying paczki from the iconic Milton’s Donuts, and come in custard, lemon and raspberry fillings.

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