Naperville’s DeEtta’s Bakery prepares for Paczki Day

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“The tradition of a paczki is you’re going to use up all the ingredients from the kitchen before Lent starts,” said Sarah Drover, bakery manager at DeEtta’s. “So you’re using all those extra eggs, all that sugar, the cream. We’re putting that into a paczki.”

Naperville’s DeEtta’s Bakery, located at 428 W. 5th Ave. in Naperville, will make approximately 10,000 paczkis before February 21, or Paczki Day. The tradition aligns with Fat Tuesday, as it’s celebrated every year with this Polish dessert.

“(A paczki) is a little bit richer dough than your normal donut you can get at any time,” said Drover.

How does DeEtta’s make their paczkis?

A day of paczki making starts early in the morning, as DeEtta’s bakers mix and shape the dough into little balls and put them in the proofer oven. After the paczkis are shaped, the frying begins.

“When we fry, we’re going to slowly take one tray out at a time, pop them in the fryer, and they’re going to fry for about four minutes total,” said Drover. “So we’ll fry for two minutes, flip them, fry for another, pull it out, and keep the process moving.”

Next comes the filling. DeEtta’s has nine different flavors.

“We’re going to line them up sheet trays and calculate how many fillings we want,” said Drover. “We’re going to allow them to cool so that our filling doesn’t get too hot, but just keep filling. And we keep filling until there’s no more paczki left.”

Paczki Day pre-orders

The treats have proven to be popular each Fat Tuesday.

“We do sell them in the bakery on the actual day, but it’s always best to pre-order to make sure you get the exact flavors you’re looking for.”

Though it’s a busy time of year at DeEtta’s, Drover enjoys sharing the gift of paczkis with Naperville. 

“It’s a little special treat you get right before Lent, before you give up all those good, delicious treats,” said Drover.

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