NEW BRITAIN - Remy Szupryczynski, the new general manager of Roly Poly Bakery, is about to his experience his first Paczki Thursday.
He started at the bakery and deli last month. Thursday will be his first experience with the hundreds of customers who show up on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday to load up on the puffy confections before the observance of Lent.
Roly Poly, located at 587 Main St., supplies all of Broad Street and bakeries throughout the Northeast with the fresh, warm pastries that are filled with a variety of confections from strawberry jelly to custard.
As “Fat Thursday” approaches, the store has seen an increased demand for paczki, Szupryczynski said. The most important thing customers can do: Make sure they tell the bakery clerks which flavors they would like.
“Some people ask for 10 but don’t say which flavors, so we pick out the flavors and they may not like some of them,” he said. “Unless you don’t care what flavor they are, make sure you say which ones you want.”
Store employees will start at around midnight manning the fryer and won’t be done until the store closes at 7 p.m. - or until the last customer is served, Szupryczynski said. It will be a steady operation, with some people frying while others are filling and frosting as soon as the pastry is cool enough to handle. Then the treats will be brought out of the kitchen and into the store to be sold as quickly as the goods were made.
Unlike a recipe for doughnuts, which uses baking powder as the prime raising ingredient, paczki are made with yeast and need to rise for about three hours before they are deep-fried and filled. The result is a fluffy pastry that is best served warm and fresh, but just cool enough to fill and frost.
The filling varieties include plum, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, black currant jelly and rose hips. They also come filled with pudding or custard and a selection of toppings from drizzled chocolate glaze to white powdered sugar. Szupryczynski said he prefers the apricot filling.
Roly Poly also makes a selection of “mini” paczki - which resemble Dunkin’ Donuts’ “munchkins” and have toppings for children such as sprinkles or a burst of frosting.
In previous years, the bakery has sold tens of thousands of paczki that were shipped throughout the Northeast. He’s been ordering “more of everything,” more milk, more flour to make sure the store will be ready.
“My goal is to not run out and to make everyone happy,” he said.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com