Paczki - Rudy's

Photo courtesy Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery.

Lidia Trempe’s first job at Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery in Parma, Ohio wasn’t manager, baker, or even cashier. “I was the doorbell,” Trempe told us. “I would sit at the front and when a customer came in I’d shout back, ‘Mama, customer!!’

Trempe, who is now the owner of the shop, is the daughter of two immigrant parents – one from Poland and the other from Ukraine. In 1975, her parents bought the shop from the original Hungarian wonder who originally opened the bakery in 1948. The bakery has been serving Northeast Ohio traditional Eastern European baked goods for nearly seventy-five years.

One of their most popular treats is, of course, paçzki, a treat so beloved in our region that it has its own holiday. “They’re so beautifully and uniquely midwestern!” Trempe gushes before offering some educational information: ““Paçzki is actually plural – it means “packages” – one of them is pączek.” Mostly importantly though, Trempe warns, “Never, ever call it a ‘donut.’”

The bakers at Rudy’s were kind enough to offer a basic paçzki template for you to make at home, with a sweet or savory option for you to pick. Whether you make your own or are lucky enough to live close enough to Rudy’s to pick some up from the bakery, Trempe says she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share the treat with as many people as possible: “It’s an honor to be welcomed into homes for these traditionally Eastern European holidays.”


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Rudy’s Humble Paçzki Recipe 


2 tsp dry active yeast

1 cup milk (whole preferred) 2 egg yolks

2 Tablespoons butter

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

Dash vanilla extract

3-4 cups flour

Oil (frying)

Powdered sugar

Any filling (custard, savory kraut and kielbasa whatever you desire!)



-Simmer the milk (about 180 F) and cool to 105 F

-Dissolve the yeast in milk, let stand for 5 minutes and add 1 cup of flour set aside for 25 minutes

-Beat the yolks till fluffy

-Add melted butter, sugar, salt and vanilla to the yeast/milk mixture and combine

-To the mixture add 2 cups of flour gradually

-Knead the dough, use as much flour as needed to prevent sticking

-Set the dough aside in a greased bowl, covered in plastic wrap until doubled in size

-Deflate the inflated dough and gut into small pieces, roll circular pieces to the size desired. Place the pieces on parchment paper and cover until doubled in size

-Heat oil to 360F and fry each side until deep golden and puffed

-Cool the paçzki shell and poke holes on top (or cut in half to make savory paczki!)

-Fill the paçzki with whatever desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar

Enjoy! ■



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