Wherever the Armenian diaspora travels, it brings its baking traditions, particularly the flatbread staple called lavash. You can get it at Brooklyn Bread House, the sole source for fresh, local Armenian bread in New York.
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"I was bummed out," Karen Freer tells us, "Because I missed bread. I didn't like the gluten-free breads out there, so I started making my own bread. My friends said they'd buy it, gluten-free or not. That's when I started Free Bread."
A half dozen of our most talented bakers descended on the New Amsterdam Market last Sunday. The occasion was the third annual Bread Pavilion, featuring loaves made from local grains.
Brooklyn is filled with Italian bakeries, but sadly only a few of them devote themselves to making great bread. Il Fornaretto is one of them, and its coal-fired oven has been producing classic, well-made loaves for decades, including what may be the best semolina bread in town.
When you serve cheese, you need bread. Over a dozen years ago, that simple imperative led Bobolink Dairy, already renowned for its artisan cheeses, to build a wood-fired oven to bake rustic breads to go with their rustic cheeses. Today, Boblink's oven produces 17 varieties of bread made from largely local and organic grains. Thanks to the bakers' commitment to small batch, naturally leavened doughs, these loaves have a richness of flavor and texture that stands out in the city's crowded bread market.
If you open a brasserie these days, you have to take bread seriously. Case in point is Lafayette, the new French restaurant in the old Chinatown Brasserie space on Lafayette Street. Walk in the door and the first thing you're greeted with is a counter displaying racks of brown loaves and glistening pastries that are an immediate sign of the eatery's ambition.
After suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy, Almondine is back open in Dumbo. Once again we can enjoy Almondine's excellent patisserie and, more importantly, some of the best baguettes in New York.
The approach of spring has given New York's bread bakers a burst of creativity. Here are five must-eat loaves to mark the end of winter.
Pain d'Avignon is the great New York City bakery hiding in plain sight. It doesn't advertise or otherwise toot its horn. Yet its delicate, crispy rolls fill the breadbaskets at many of the city's top hotels and white tablecloth restaurants. Not bad for three guys from Belgrade who arrived here a little over 20 years ago with only a few dollars in their pockets.
Uri Scheft, the head man at Breads Bakery, arrives in New York with a distinguished baking pedigree that spans from Israel to Denmark. His Union Square bakery is already drawing regulars, and his northern European-style breads definitely warrant the attention.
Per Se's former head baker, Peter Endress—whose breads you could find weekly at Smorgasburg—have settled into the Gowanus at Runner & Stone Bakery and Restaurant. And in a couple respects, they're better than ever.
We went behind the scenes at Harlem's non-profit bakery to see what goes into New York's most culturally diverse array of breads.
New York has only been baking sourdough for about 40 years, but in that time the artisan bread revolution has given us some wonderful loaves.
"We wanted it to have the same vibe as the Bien Cuit in Brooklyn, even if it's in Manhattan," said head baker Zachary Golper of his second location, which just opened on Christopher Street.
Here are ten breads—lean and nutty as well as rich and sweet—perfect for holiday tables, all from some of New York's best bakers.
When I heard the news that Soutine, my favorite postage stamp-size bakery in the whole world, had closed its doors late last week, the news hit me like a pound of frozen French butter. From the day owner Madge Rosenberg and her late husband Barry opened the doors more than thirty years ago, I have been an all-too-steady-for-my-waistline's-good customer. Let me count the ways and the things that I will miss about my beloved Soutine.
In 1997, Balthazar opened its doors on Spring Street. Downstairs in the basement, a corner was set aside for a little bread-making operation. On the first day, every table was decorated with a basket containing house-made breads: a baguette, a whole wheat, a rye, and so on. Fifteen years later, nearly identical loaves are still sold by the Balthazar Bakery, which has grown to be one of the city's biggest and most consistently excellent artisan bakeries.
Thanks to its incredibly diverse immigrant population, the stretch of South Brooklyn from Coney Island to Sheepshead Bay is one of the city's richest feeding grounds for those interested in ethnic eats. Unfortunately, as readers know, it is also one of the low-lying neighborhoods hardest hit by the Sandy surge. Here's our report on the state of South Brooklyn's bread.
Leavened with yeast instead of baking soda, chocolate bread has a delicate complexity that rises above other cake-like breakfast breads. Here are four great spots to satisfy your bread fix.