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Connecticut Hard Rolls

jkuhlen Apr 9, 2008 05:05 PM

I love a good hard roll - sandwich or just with butter. I'm not talking about french bread crusty (love it too, though, this is just a different category). I had one today at the West Center Market in Wallingford. I always stop there for a sandwich when I hit my credit union on South Turnpike just past the Oakdale (exit 64 off Merritt south take a left), because I love the rolls: just a wonderful leathery texture that resists your bite with beautifully developed gluten. So good. Anyway, they happened to have the box they were shipped in nearby this time. It was labeled Lupi-Marchigiano Bakery, New Haven, CT. So file that one away. Anyone have other favorite bakeries or retailers that offer top notch versions of the lowly hard roll?

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    preacher Apr 9, 2008 05:50 PM

    try the harvest bakery in bristol on rt.6 also get the rye bread while ur there they are well known for it
    another is in waterbury brooklyn bakery on john st. havent been ther in years but they used to make the best , lupi-marchigiano makes great italian bread

    1. h
      harrie Apr 9, 2008 05:57 PM

      Chaves Bakery in Bridgeport -- nice hard rolls, though we usually go for the Portuguese roll.

      1. Jimmy Cantiello Apr 10, 2008 04:36 AM

        Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a good hard roll since Zeisler's Bakery went out of business many years ago. It was located on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Their rolls were crusty on the outside, slightly doughy on the inside and topped with a generous amount of poppy seeds. All they needed was a little butter. I remember getting them first thing Sunday morning along with the Sunday Bridgeport Post.The rolls were still warm and it took all my willpower not to sneak one on the way home. No bakery has even come close since, imo.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Jimmy Cantiello
          coldduck Apr 10, 2008 04:53 AM

          If you start talking about old Connecticut bakeries, you might never stop. We got our hard rolls at the long-gone New York Bakery in Waterbury. I especially liked the crescent-shaped rolls that broke apart into three sections.

          1. re: coldduck
            JayCT Apr 10, 2008 07:15 AM

            Forgot to add, Zeisler's had the best crescent rolls too. They were called keeflys (sp?). Miss them too. Jay

          2. re: Jimmy Cantiello
            JayCT Apr 10, 2008 07:13 AM

            My family was good friends with the Zeislers. It was sad to see them close but no one in the family wanted to carry on with the bakery. The kids had all moved up to less stressful professions. Boy do we miss their rye bread. It was the best. There are places that claim to have their recipe but it is just not the same. We use to get rye occasionally at France's Bakery in Trumbull and it is the closest. You might try their rolls to see if they are the same. I just wish there was a comparable bakery in the Hartford area. In Glastonbury there is nothing. Jay

            1. re: JayCT
              javaandjazz Apr 10, 2008 08:01 AM

              I remember going in the back door and into the kitchen at Zeislers with my grandfather on the weekends and getting the warm hard rolls. That was back in the early 70's. I'm not that old yet! LOL! Richie

              1. re: javaandjazz
                JayCT Apr 10, 2008 11:53 AM

                We use to make late night or early morning runs to the back door. That was great. the smell of the cooked breads was wonderful. I remember buying a loaf of rye on the way home late one night and all of us eating the whole loaf on the way home. We had to turn around and go back for another one so we would have it with Sunday dinner. Jay

              2. re: JayCT
                Jimmy Cantiello Apr 10, 2008 08:02 AM

                Ha! Funny you mentioned Frances's. I live in Monroe and I go there just for their rye bread. It's what I call a "tight" bread. Nice and dense, perfect for toasting.

            2. BiscuitBoy Apr 10, 2008 09:23 AM

              Venice Bakery, Dixwell Ave, Hamden. Hard rolls, Italian bread, stuffed breads, for those who like the ends of Italian bread, some kind of twisted thing with 3 ends. Very similar to Lupi's. Walk in and the place smells like heaven

              1. j
                jkuhlen Apr 10, 2008 09:45 PM

                Thanks for the tips. Venice in Hamden is within striking distance and will be a destination soon. Bristol, Waterbury and Bridgeport are a bit off my usual track, but I will make note. Sorry about the excellent bakeries that I'll never get to try, but I'm glad to have provided a reminder.

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                  Ratatouille Apr 11, 2008 02:01 PM

                  I don't know what a hard roll is, but Hannaford's sells these tough little rolls with a lot of gluten, I guess, in them. Really chewy and satisfying. I think they're called scandanavian dinner rolls or something like that. They sell them with the harder crusted breads.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ratatouille
                    Jimmy Cantiello Apr 12, 2008 03:03 AM

                    In Connecticut we always called it a "hard" roll.Don't know where that term came from. In other parts of the country the same type of roll is known as a "kaiser" roll. In the Boston/Cape Cod area it's known as a "bulky" roll.

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