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Old-fashioned Italian bread in Manhattan

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I'd appreciate your help in tracking down old-fashioned NYC Italian bread.

I'm about to make a New Orleans bread pudding, which calls for traditional New Orleans French bread. NOLA French bread is thin-crusted, and has a light, airy crumb.

When I moved to NYC in 1970, I used to make this recipe with NYC Italian loaves. While not as light as New Orleans French, Italian bread was a credible stand-in. Most importantly, the crust (sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds) was neither thick nor chewy. Thick, chewy crusts or a chewy crumb make for a dense, heavy pudding.

Do any Manhattan bakeries still sell old-fashioned Italian bread? It used to be everywhere, but I haven't seen it in ages. Crusty "artisan" breads are easy to find, but I'm searching for a lighter, humbler loaf.

Thanks for the help!

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  1. Do you know the place for sandwhiched in SOHO, Alidoro? I think their semolina bread may be what your looking for. I love this bread, to me it is exactly the type of Italian bread that everyone used to make but that you can't find anymore. Maybe call them and ask what bakery they get their bread from. They have a note up in the shop that says but I can't recall of the top of my head.

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    Alidoro
    105 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

    1. parisi bakery in nolita, perhaps? old school, and italian.

      1. Maybe Faicco's? I think the Italian bread I bought there recently fits your description

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        Faicco's
        260 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        1. Thank you all for your great suggestions. I also posted my question to eGullet, where someone recommended DiPalo's.

          So I think I'm set. I just need to hustle my old keester onto a subway, and head downtown.

          Again, thanks!

          1. Parisi in Nolita is your best bet. They will not dissapoint.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tbone

              My bread basket runneth over. To all of you, thanks.