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I found great real rye bread in NJ!

Ever since my favorite local bakery closed a number of years ago I have been in search of some good, authentic Brooklyn style Jewish rye bread. I am in Morris County and although there are plenty of bakeries in the area none have a great rye bread. I have been so desperate for it at times whenever I have to go into Manhattan, I make it a point of hitting up Zabars just to pick up a couple of loves to put in my freezer. This past week I had a meeting at Rutgers in New Brunswick, and since I was in the area and knew that there was such a large Orthodox community in neighboring Highland Park, I thought I take a short drive (5 min) to see what I could find. I stumbled upon Ofi Yofi on the main drag, Raritan Ave (aka rte 27) it is a small shop only a couple of blocks from the intersection of 622 and 27. The bakery is kosher, and it has the best rye bread ever, with that perfect crunchy crust and plenty of seeds. Their rye definitely rivals the best I have had from Brooklyn! I know that there have been previous thread of those searching high and low for great rye bread, so I thought I'd share my find. Enjoy!

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  1. Thanks for the tip about Ofi Yofi. We have had great rye bread from The Bread Company in Montclair, but I don't believe that it's kosher.

    1. This is the story here in New Jersey. All the great stuff is here - somewhere. Finding it is the trick.

      Thanks for the tip.

      1. Thank you. I do stop in to the HP Farmer's Market after Labor Day most Fridays and I'll be sure to check this out. Haven't had great Jewish rye here in NJ since Seitz's Bakery in South River went out of business.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JustJake

          The one thing I would caution about Ofi Yofi is that they close early...most days at 4 and I think earlier on Fri (closed on Sat. of course) I got there around noon and they only had one loaf of rye left, so I recommend going early in the mornings! I was thinking of calling them in advance next time and asking if they could put aside a couple of loaves for me seeing as I am traveling so far, but not sure if they would go for it - maybe if I become a regular and flirt a bit with the counter help, lol!

          1. re: JustJake

            If you remember Seitz's, you will also remember Magara's.... not as good as the black seed rye from seitz's... but the white rolls were better. I will have to drop in at Ofi Yofi next time I am in the neighborhood.

          2. Have been searching for years around Monmouth County and have yet to find a loaf of rye bread with crust that would make my gums bleed... :-(

            1 Reply
            1. re: equal_Mark

              For rye bread crust that will make your gums bleed, try this tip from the old owners of Irv's Deli in Neptune who had great rye bread. Buy it unsliced and slip it into a screaming hot oven for about a minute. That will toast the crust without cooking the inside. Great way to crisp up a bad loaf of rye. Here in Monmouth County a good place for rye bread is Freedman's bakery.
              http://www.dinetheshore.blogspot.com

            2. The absolute best bread in Bergen County is still Balthazar in Englewood. Worth a special trip.

              4 Replies
              1. re: menton1

                Balthazar has wonderful bread, but, with all due respect, they don't have (or even claim to have) Jewish rye.

                1. re: DMR5713

                  Sure. For Jewish Rye just drive 2 towns over to Teaneck, and go to Butterflake on Cedar Lane.

                  1. re: menton1

                    I live in Teaneck, and Butterflake's never impressed me that much when I first tried it years ago. Someone else told me that they're rye bread has lately improved a lot, though, so I'll have to give it another try.

                    1. re: DMR5713

                      Eh, so I tried their rye bread last month (sorry I didn't get to posting until now). Lots of caraway seeds (that's the good news), but not much rye flavor and not that touch of sourness that good Jewish rye bread should have. I'll try their corn rye one of these days, but their rye bread doesn't do much for me. Not terrible, just not what a good Jewish rye should be.

              2. Its too bad that there are just a few really good neighborhood bakeries around any more. The supermarkets have created their version of local baked, mass produced breads that falls short of the craftsmanship that once existed. I now get Levy rye with seeds and settle for its resemblance to the real deal.

                2 Replies
                1. re: fishnut

                  All the so called "rye" bread around here seems to be nothing more than beige tinted white sandwich bread.

                  1. re: equal_Mark

                    Have you tried Salomon's in Manalapan? I hear the rye bread is terrific...

                2. I had written about this a few years ago but have yet to find Jewish style corn bread. Very few people even remember what it is. I grew up in Queens NY and there were bakeries all over that would carry it. I'd like to say that is similar to rye bread but (a) no seeds and (b) no rye. It was a little sweeter for lack of a better description but it wasn't sweet. It came in the same shape as the rye bread and used to have that little square piece of paper stuck to the crust (I never knew what that little tag was about) and the bread was GREAT with salted butter (from Daitch's dairy) and tomato.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: jnk

                    I would say it google it. I find stuff all the time that way. I could ask my father-in-law. He works at a yeshiva in old bridge

                    .

                    1. re: Spaetzle75

                      I've tried Googleing it to no avail. I was told to try Butterflake baker in Teaneck but what they had bore no resemblance to the bread I knew and loved. Please ask your father-in-law but I think it was more geographic than anything else. It was sold by "Cake Masters" and "Jay Dee" bakeries to name just two.

                      1. re: Spaetzle75

                        I have tried Googleing, but to no avail. Sure, ask you f-i-l but my guess is that if he isn't a NY'er in at least his 50's he'll have no idea what you're talking about. I tried something that they called "sweet rye bread" from Butterflake in Teaneck, but that wasn't it. Thanks for your interest.

                      2. re: jnk

                        The paper tag was the Union Baker tag . I used to buy rye bread from Parnes in Perth Amboy - same tag .

                        1. re: jnk

                          Perhaps this is what you were thinking about? (though it does have some rye flour in it and seeds are optional.) I remember this from my youth, and I am not in my 50's.

                          http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4879...

                          I found it by googling corn rye, which is what I remember it being called.

                          there is also this thread on chowhound: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/449047

                          (Edited to add chowhound thread link)

                          1. re: jnk

                            Just an aside--One Thanksgiving my mother-in-law said she was bringing corn bread and brought---the Jewish corn bread!!!! (it was from a Jewish bakery in Stamford, Ct.) It WAS good, just not exactly what we were expecting (tho it was a real plus for sandwiches the next day.)

                            1. re: jnk

                              I've had a Portuguese version of what you're describing; a yeast corn bread. It was delicious!

                            2. You mean Sitzes in South River re-opened!?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: RPMcMurphy

                                I know the corn bread you mean, jnk. It's round on one side only, cut on the other side, and is actually a variation of Jewish Rye, no resemblance to the one from down South. Just about the only place still making it is Moishe's Bakery, on Second Ave and E 7th St in the East Village. It's the real deal, worth an excursion. (Don't go on Saturday)

                              2. Try the Rockland Bakery, just over the Bergen County boarder, in Rockland County, NY. It's in the town of Nanuet. They still bake all kinds of breads including the Jewish-style ones like Rye and corn, pumpernickel, challah, onion boards etc. Plus, they make a decent Italian bread, french bread, brioche... Not as gourmet as Balthazar, but darn tasty bread. You have to walk through the store in the front, put on plastic gloves and grab bags, then proceed to the back room where they do the actual baking. You select your own bread and rolls (you can choose well-done, or lightly seeded, or whatever your preference is) and if you want anything sliced, you hand it to them in the front store before paying. Great place, good rye bread.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: barbgail61

                                  Menton1-
                                  I'm in Manhattan so not a big deal. I'll head there this morning . Thanks for the recommendation.

                                2. We enjoy the rye from these guys in Elizabeth - www.lithbake.com - several varieties to choose from, and IMO worth the trip.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: riverman18

                                    I've bought their bread at the Red Bank Farmers' Market. They may be at others around the state.

                                  2. Tried it and found its under new management and a new name. The rye bread was ok, nothing that great. The selection otherwise was limited.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: gunboat

                                      Which bakery are you talking about ?

                                      1. re: menton1

                                        Hi Menton1-
                                        unfortunately, work's been getting in the way. In the meantime we;ve taken some of the bread that we froze from Berkshire Bread Bakery up in Great Barrington out for the weekend. I'll either get to Moishe's on Sunday or sometime next week. I'll be in touch.

                                        Jon

                                        1. re: jnk

                                          Well I stop in at Moishe's today. They have great looking stuff there but alas no corn bread. They do have corn rye (this gigantic loaf, same as Butterflake) but as the woman behind the counter said, "I think you're out of luck, I don't think anyone bakes that any more." I'll keep searching. In the meantime I tried some of their hammentaschen, danish and babka and so far so good.

                                      2. Zadies in Fair Lawn has some of the best breads around. The line is long on Sunday mornings, and they are closed on Saturday because they are Kosher. But, man that is some serious marble rye and regular rye. Great salt sticks, great everything! Their Challah is famous.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Picnicchef

                                          I just went to Calandra's itlaian village in caldwell. They just started serving some kosher foods.. and I have to tell you the Rye bread was pretty darn good!

                                        2. This is now named "Mordy's". No idea if the rye is the same or not.

                                          1. Okay, so any idea where we can find great rye bread in Brookline, Massachusetts?

                                            1. Rockland Bakery, in Nanuet NY, just a few miles north of Park Ridge and Montvale NJ, still bakes Jewish style bread. As I posted before, it's worth the trip. You get to put on gloves, grab bags, and pick out whatever bread you want. I searched online, and they do sell 2 lb Corn Breads, the Jewish/European kind that's a cousin to Rye. Here's the link to see a picture: http://rocklandbakery.com/profile.asp...

                                              You can either slice this as in picture #25 or get it unsliced as picture #24 in the link I provided shows. They specialize in European Jewish Style baking. You won' be disappointed. And no, I'm not an employee or a relative, and no, I don't earn a commission (but I wish I did, and I'd take it payable in baked goods!) Enjoy!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: barbgail61

                                                Sounds (and looks) great but 42 miles...for a loaf of bread.....oy......what a schlepp!
                                                Maybe a trip this weekend. And I'm guessing Sunday, not Saturday. Thanks.

                                                1. re: barbgail61

                                                  Very good bread/bakery...got a rye bread there not that long ago. I didn't really look around, just needed a rye and run, LOL. It was very good.

                                                2. For me the very best Rye bread is to be had at the Swiss Pork Store in Fair Lawn. It is delivered at the beginning of the week in the form of beautiful 10 pound round loaves from a local Lithuanian bakery. It is however cut into more manageable quarters and it is the Best!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: RUK

                                                    Yes, I've had it -- very good rye. I haven't been there in a few years (did they move?), but I don't remember their rye being a "Jewish rye" so to speak...is it? I remember it being a "heavier" and "heartier" type of rye.

                                                    Thanks in advance.

                                                  2. I got a loaf of Jewish Rye today at Whole Foods. The best I've had in years. I have no idea how it compares to Brooklyn style, but I'm very happy with it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: cantkick

                                                      I've had rye from WF...yes, very good in my opinion.

                                                    2. Frank's Deli in Asbury Park has terrific rye bread!

                                                      1. Had to be in the New Brusnwick area Sunday so based on Chowhound comments went looking for Ofi Yofi in Highland Park. Had a little troubnle finding it because the bakery has changed hands and is now "Mordy's"
                                                        Everything lookied great and we got an assortment of goods including the previously mentioned Rye Bread.
                                                        Some (I can't tell How much) of the product is brought in from outside.

                                                        The doughnuts (which are brought in) were great!
                                                        However everything else was just okay. The bagels had the consistancy of a roll and the Rye Bread also was too light to be a good Jewish Rye like those brought up in NY would be expecting. I wouldn't say anything was bad, just nothing worth a drive for.
                                                        David

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: dkupersmith

                                                          Millers bakery in cliff side park is he best ever!! Crisp on outside and perfect airy and spongy on inside with superb flavor. :)

                                                          1. re: Mtbruns

                                                            Very good rye bread. I used to live in CP, and went there often -- and while I haven't been there in several years, I don't know that their rye bread is like the "Jewish rye" some here have commented on/requested.

                                                            I remember their rye, but I don't remember them doing a Jewish rye.

                                                            Have you been recently? Do you know? Thanks in advance.