Hot Bread Kitchen

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Lots of times at bread and bakery shops, each specializes and houses a particular style or type, whether it be Parisian, or Eastern European. But, At Hot Bread Kitchen in East Harlem, you can choose from an array of multi-ethnic breads. 

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Located in La Marqueta, they produce all of their breads on-site, from loaves of bread, to tortillas to lavash. Everything looked great, but I decided to try a couple of things. 

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First, I went for their Pecan Raisin Roll. The bread itself has a nice crust on the outside, and a softer texture in the center, with almost a bit of that bite sourdough bread has. Then, you get the sweetness of the baked in raisins and pecans, adding a nice texture as well. 

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Then, I went for an old familiar item, the Bialy. My family grew up on the Lower East Side in NYC, so, visiting as a kid, we’d always stop by one of the local Jewish bakeries and pick up some fresh Bialys. Since then, they’ve become more sparse, and not as common to see or find. So, this was a nice little surprise, and had to pick one up. Theirs is light, with a nice chew to the bread, and then you have the tiny caramelized onion and poppyseed combination in the center, making it an authentic Bialy. 

The Shorts:
Name: Hot Bread Kitchen
Location: 1590 Park Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, they have a cute little cafe there as well, so you can grab a coffee and baked good, or, take it to go.
Would I recommend it? Yes, there is a nice variety, something for everyone. And, if you can’t make it to the shop, you can find them at a number of other locations

Northside Bakery

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The next stop on my 12 Best Bakeries In NYC Challenge off of Gothamist’s list, is Northside Bakery in Williamsburg. 

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This European bakery is using all natural and fresh ingredients. Their products range from cookies, to breads, to cakes and Napoleon. 

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Since three is the magic number (at least in this case it is), I got three different items to try. First, I had a raisin and walnut roll. Don’t let the size of this little roll fool you. It’s hearty and packed with plump raisins, dried cranberries and walnuts. It’s got a great crispness and crunch on the outside, and loaded with the natural sweetness of the fruit and nuts. 

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Then, my eyes went straight for this horseshoe looking pastry. I’d never seen one like it. Since there’s nothing in the picture to scale the size, believe me when I say it’s the size of my face (or your face, your friend’s face, whoever). The pastry itself is layered with a light and flaky pastry dough, and what I would describe as a cross between a crisp croissant and a cookie. It has a slightly savory quality to it, but mixed with the large sugar crystals on top, you get a balanced combination. Then, seeping out of the middle is this perfectly sweet prune puree meets paste. 

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Lastly, they said that one of their most popular items was their jelly donut. Sold. This softball sized donut is pretty awesome. The dough is pillowy, light and soft and confected with powdered sugar. 

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The amount of jelly on the inside isn’t very liberally injected, but, it is unique and delicious. It’s a bit tart from the berries, but then, out of nowhere, you have a hint of floral, potentially rosewater. 

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The Shorts:
Name: Northside Bakery
Location: 149 North 8th Street, Brooklyn
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the goods were so tasty.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s a great little bakery with really affordable treats.