“My daughter is made of this stuff — she’s 2-years-old,” says Gadi Peleg, motioning to all the fresh baked goods inside the massive Breads Bakery in downtown New York City. Last year, Peleg opened the 9,000-square-foot retail bakeshop with master baker Uri Scheft, who leads a team of employees that knead, roll, mix and manipulate dough into about 20 different products every day. And now, the retail-only spot, which bakes continuosly throughout the day to serve the freshest, pillowy yet crunchy bites possible, has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
“Everyone else produces at night, sells all day,” says Peleg. “I don’t have to deliver by 7 or 8 a.m. We open at 6:30 a.m., and we don’t work at night.”
From their beloved chocolate babka and challah bread to cheese straws and almond croissants, it’s near impossible to stop in for just one or two goodies to eat. So in addition to bringing your appetite, bring a large shopping bag, as well (if you forget, they have ones available.)
As for those who are afraid of the gluten, Scheft suggests you reconsider your stance. “People have been eating gluten for thousands of year,” he says. “This is not a place for gluten-free dieters. It’s a trend for me.” And surely, as soon as you enter his shop and are enveloped in the dizzying aroma of freshly baking bread, you might jump off that wagon and into the nearest displays of chocolate croissants and cheese straws.
If you’re not local nor planning a trip to NYC anytime soon, you can order their beloved chocolate babka online, or try their sure-hit cheese straw recipe at home with the kids.
17.5 Oz. puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
14 oz gouda, grated
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to a rectangle approximalty 12×16 inches and about 3⁄4 inch thick. Brush the dough lightly with egg. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the dough and press down lightly. Gently flip the dough and again, brush lightly with egg. Sprinkle the grated cheese over this side of the dough and press down lightly. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1.5 inch strips that are 12” long. Roll each strip into a kind of tight spiral.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the cookie sheet with parchement paper. Place the cheese sticks neatly on the sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn the tray and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown.