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Sep 30, 2010 07:31 PM

"Hard Rolls"

I have a visitor coming next week who grew up in mid-state NY but has lived in Charlotte for 30 years. One of the things he misses from way up north are hard rolls, as he calls them. Apparently, they don't have hard rolls in NC. He asked if we had them here and I could swear I've seen the name somewhere, but am not sure where or even if it is the same thing.

Anyone know what someone from NY would be calling a hard roll and where it could be found in Montgomery County (the closer to Rockville the better!)?

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  1. In NY/NJ a hard roll was usually a kaiser roll. Unfortunately, the type your friend grew up wtih is hard to find even in NY/NJ anymore. The great, family owned European bakeries that once dotted every town have given way to crappy supermarket "in store" bakeries that buy frozen parbaked rolls and call them 'hard rolls' or 'kaiser rolls'. None have the thin, glassy hard crust and open, soft interiors of the real McCoy. There must be bakeries somewhere that still do it right...I hope you find one in your area!

    1. You might try The Kielbasa Factory in Rockville. Since they're a Polish Grocery store, they might have hard rolls in their baked goods.

      The Professor is right - the American version is a Kaiser roll, but they're no longer like the rolls of old.

      1. I have yet to see a true hard roll in this region. It's as described above, a kaiser type roll that will leave alot of crumbs from the "hard" outside. They were great for a tasty roast beef sandwich. I'll have to check out that Kielbasa Factory, who knows?

        2 Replies
        1. re: KevinS

          I tried the Kielbasa Factory to no avail today, although I did come home with some extremely tasty kielbasa and pierogies.

          1. re: Terrie H.

            Sorry about the misdirection, then. I thought they might have them, but haven't gone shopping there for breads before.

            But they do have fabulous kielbasa and pierogies!

        2. Shoppers Food on Nicholson Lane, and Koshermart on Boiling Brook Parkway, in Rockville, 5 minutes apart, have in-store bakeries that sometimes fit the bill. I, too, long for the seeded "hard roll" of yore. Suffice it to say, it will be easier to find a decent kaiser roll than a decent rye bread.

          184 Rollins Ave, Rockville, MD

          5 Replies
          1. re: nickdanger

            The rye bread at Brooklyn's Deli, both the original on Darnestown Rd and the new location on Seven Locks in Potomac, is outstanding.

            1. re: nickdanger

              Heidelberg Bakery in Arlington has very good rye breads, even a corn rye.

              Still not as good as the incredible "sissel bread" we had in Providence when I was a kid (that bread had a crust that could break your teeth), but light years ahead of the spongy rye bread you generally get around here.

              PS Note to self -- next time in RI, pick up a sissel bread at Rainbow Bakery in Cranston.


              1. re: Bob W

                Good call. Corn rye, that brings me back. Not made with corn, but has a dense consistency, right?

                1. re: nickdanger

                  nick -- I hit Heidelberg this past Saturday. The corn rye does have corn meal in it, and is a very dense rye.

                  Heidelberg has a really impressive bread selection -- several different ryes, various multi-grain breads, etc. Great bakery!

                  1. re: Bob W

                    Thanks for the update. Are they still grilling brats on saturday?

            2. Sigh, I grew up in NYS and also miss decent hard rolls. Giant carries something that looks like it, but not exactly the same.