Hard to believe it's almost Rosh Hashanah again (Shanah Tova in advance!) but time barely ever makes sense these days so we're just going to roll with it. Mostly because, for me, Rosh Hashanah means another round of special holiday goodies from Breads Bakery.
I go to Breads a lot throughout the year, mostly for their Cheese Sticks and Chocolate Rugelach — unlike some other rapidly expanding bakery mini-chains, the quality here has remained consistently high since the first shop opened in Union Square in 2013 — but when the holiday special menus hit I tend to overindulge. The Hamantaschen at Purim are my favorite seasonal treat there, but the limited-time Rosh Hashanah menu is pretty great too.
Available starting Friday, September 4th for preorder pickup, delivery, or for walk-ins at both the Union Square and Lincoln Center locations, the headliners of the New Years menu are the special cakes and babkas, including a sweet and sticky Apple Babka and a decadent version of the classic Medovik, constructed from layers of honey, sour cream, and chewy caramelized biscuit.
For a show-stopping centerpiece there's the new wreath-shaped Crown Medjool, filled with date and cardamom, a Safta Cake infused with cinnamon and honey, and you can order the Breads Chocolate Babka, which ranks right up there among the best in town.
Special loaves of Challah come in Apple, Raisin, or "Festive" and are studded with a half dozen blocks of different seeds, from poppy to sesame to nigella. You can order jars of honey made by the bees from Breads own rooftop hives in Union Square, and there's a soothing No Chicken Noodle Soup, which you assemble at home by plunging the platter of fresh noodles into a pot of the rich vegetable broth.
Breads has only been around for about seven and a half years, so doesn't really qualify as a NYC institution just yet, but every week the list of restaurants and other small businesses shutting down just keeps getting longer and more depressing. Everyone is working hard, reinventing their businesses, feeling anxious about the future, and all just to survive another day. Or, increasingly, not. I'm often in Union Square so Breads is like one of my neighborhood bakeries (I have many), and would hate to lose its steady presence and delicious Cheese Sticks to this terrible pandemic.
The Breads Rosh Hashanah menu is available for preorder pickup, delivery, and walk-ins through September 27th at the Union Square (18 East 16th Street) and Lincoln Center (1890 Broadway) locations (breadsbakery.com)