Hot Bread Kitchen Gift BoxCelia Cheng

Hot Bread Kitchen

by Celia Sin-Tien Cheng
October 15, 2009

This month’s winners are Peter and Jill!

Below is the original Baking Friday post.


Scroll down to enter a comment, and click “submit” after the preview appears on screen. Send us your answer by midnight tonight for the chance to win a Hot Bread Kitchen gift box. Winners will be contacted via email. This Baking Friday is open to participants living in New York State.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jessamyn Waldman, founder of Hot Bread Kitchen, at a restaurant in Carroll Gardens on a cold winter night last year. When I learned about her venture, I was instantly warmed by her passion and vision. This week’s Baking Friday prize will offer a taste of that passion to two winners.

Hot Bread Kitchen is no ordinary bakery as it is a non-profit with two extraordinary goals: to produce a range of organic ethnic breads that reflects the diversity of New York City; and to teach the female immigrants they hire valuable job skills that will help them grow.

I admire Jessamyn for founding an organization that embraces the ethnic diversity of our city through its products and for giving immigrant women the opportunity to better their lives with practical skills.

Made with traditional techniques and recipes, the baked goods at Hot Bread Kitchen range from European staples, such as baguettes, focaccia and multi-grain loaves, to authentic corn tortillas and fine lavash.

This week’s Baking Friday prize, a Hot Bread Kitchen gift box, includes the following items described by Hot Bread Kitchen:

Lavash Crackers
Typically eaten in Armenia, Iran, and other parts of the near east, our thin and crunchy lavash is made with organic wheat flour, kosher salt, NY State honey and topped with kosher salt, poppy, sesame or za’taar.

My Mom’s Nutty Granola
We’ve given mom’s recipe a definite 21st-century vibe. My Mom’s Nutty Granola is baked with 100% whole grain rolled oats, peanuts, almonds, unsulphered Thompson raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, NY State honey, vegetable oil and kosher salt.

Corn Tortillas
A staple of Mexican and Central American cuisine. We make ours in the traditional way: stone grinding corn, adding nothing but a little lime to soften the kernel’s skin. Each tortilla is quickly cooked on a comal to enhance the rich flavor.

Hot Bread Kitchen breadsCelia Cheng

I’ve tried the lavash, tortillas and granola, and I’m so impressed by the quality. Lavash is the best kind of cracker to have around for snacking. Crisp, light and delicious (especially with sesame or za’taar), it’s good alone or with dips like hummus or homemade salsa. The corn tortillas are fresh and wholesome, and you can taste the grains in each bite. I generally prefer flour to corn, but these tortillas had me coming back for more. The granola is natural and unadulterated. I add some fresh fruits for a touch of sweetness.

Thank you, Jessamyn and the Hot Bread Kitchen team for making great breads and making a difference! We hope more businesses will choose to make a difference in our community and culinary culture.


Comments (23)


Oct 16, 07:06 AM

Fried dough… kinda low brow I know…


Oct 16, 07:13 AM

I love a perfectly baked sourdough soft and warm inside with a hard shell right out of the oven. Great as sandwich bread or toasted with jam.

Julia Ames

Oct 16, 07:13 AM

Sourdough Rounds! Just the other night my husband was coming home from work and saw some fresh bread at the local farmers market. When he got home he said “I may not bring you flowers but I bring you Sourdough.” He knows my weakness for the tangy crunchy stuff and that it is better then flowers any day.


Oct 16, 07:14 AM

I met Jessamyn at a recent social enterprise panel and I, too, was very impressed by the venture and her passion.
I’d love to try HBK’s products!

Most recently, my favorite bread is the olive, sundried tomato, and rosemary fougasse I’ve been making from Dorie Greenspan’s latest article in Bon Appetit! YUMMMM

Jill Astmann

Oct 16, 07:19 AM

I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between a really good Swedish Limpa and a caraway studded Jewish Rye, toasted and well buttered. Yum

Grant Vingoe

Oct 16, 07:26 AM

White toasting bread is very boring generally, but like so many things from daily life,the Japanese have turned it into an art form. I love golden-toasted Japanese-made white bread with Seville orange marmalade.


Oct 16, 07:52 AM



Oct 16, 07:57 AM

Oh so many to choose from…
a baguette warm out of the oven that must be eaten right away, and a loaf of vollkorn bread that is dense and nutty and lasts the whole week!

T. Martin

Oct 16, 08:13 AM

I’m a big fan of olive bread. Also, I like the new Wine Breads at Orwasher’s Bakery.


Oct 16, 08:15 AM

I guess it’s a 3 way tie for me – challah, fresh hot bagels, and garlic nan.

Eric Aerts

Oct 16, 08:21 AM

My Faves change all the time, but last night we had jalapeno-cheddar corn bread, sliced and refried in butter and served with warm jalapeno jelly. Yumm.


Oct 16, 08:25 AM

i love all kinds of bread…
a few of my favorites are bagels, cinnamon rolls, all kinds of raisin bread, baguette, croissants, donuts, etc. etc.


Oct 16, 08:36 AM

a warm baguette is the best; getting the really warm whole foods bread is key


Oct 16, 08:39 AM

This is a tough one. Today I’m going to say a hot flaky croissant with butter and honey. The answer might be very different tomorrow. Or in an hour.


Oct 16, 08:52 AM

Semolina with fennel seeds and golden raisins. Amy’s makes a very good one.

Runner-up is the quinoa-flax seed loaf from the bakery at Whole Foods. It has a hint of cardamom and is amazing buttered and dunked into hot soup!

Patricia Grande

Oct 16, 09:02 AM

I never met a bread I didn’t like-bagels, french, italian, cranberry-walnut, raisin, challah, 7-grain, 9-grain, 12-grain, pita, rye – and whatever happened to old fashioned “corn bread” which had nothing to do with corn – it was more like a rye bread sold at jewish bakeries.


Oct 16, 09:12 AM

Asiago fennel naan, someday!


Oct 16, 09:27 AM

japanese white bread “wonder bread”


Oct 16, 09:39 AM

SCRATCHbread South Slope Sour. The most intense and delicious sourdough I have ever tasted, with tons of character-Super thick crust, fluffy, chewy, tangy.. Like HBK, SCRATCHbread is a Brooklyn-Based business that has grown to make some amazing products and the brand prides itself on simplicity and really doesn’t get any better.


Oct 16, 12:51 PM

Okay, I am obligated to say that tortillas are my favorite flatbread because i’m half Mexican…but I cannot live without Focaccia.

ps: Hey Celia! Once you try a freshly made corn tortilla (from a Tortilleria) you will never go back to flour!


Oct 16, 01:55 PM

Olive bread !!!


Oct 16, 02:33 PM

I think one of the greatest pleasures in bread eating is biting into a perfect baguette. A proper baguette has a slight crunchy exterior and a quasi chewy interior. The perfect baguette has a plain taste which permits it to accompany many flavors, as well as meals (butter, jams, stews, salads, sauces-breakfast, lunch and dinner) Sadly, I have traveled to many NYC bakeries which all claim to have a good baguette, only to be disappointed by the addition of extras that do not belong (sour dough, extra salt, sesame and etc). In order to really get the taste of a perfect baguette….a trip to France (Paris notably) is required. However, my husband and I recently were surprised to have discovered Isabelle et Vincent in Fairfield, CT who do deliver a clean tasting baguette, although the shape is not perfect.


Oct 17, 10:29 AM

Salt sticks from Orwashers bakery. They remind me of the type of rolls my Dad would buy on weekends.

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