Breaking: Bread

Ten of our favorite loaves from NYC bakeries

Loafing on the job? Guilty. Gluten for punishment? Indeed.

We've been feeling your pain. Feeling and sniffing and tasting and slathering them with butter, all in the name of picking our bakers'-near-dozen of the best breads in town, gathered here in no particular order.

Miche from She Wolf Bakery ($5 for a quarter loaf)

The standard bearer: classic, grand, versatile. The lovely bite and char of this oversized bread make it our food editor's go-to for bread salad and pappa al pomodoro.

Rye Ficelle from Bien Cuit ($4)

Dark, wonderfully dense baguette, made with three types of rye flour. BYOB: Bring Your Own Butter.

Cacio e Pepe Sourdough from Scratchbread ($5)

A favorite pasta, now in bread form. With its thick, crunchy topping of melted Pecorino, butter, olive oil and loads of black pepper, it's almost like eating pizza. Almost.

Sourdough from Roberta's ($6)

Embrace the yeasty tang of this boule, the sourest of sours we could find. Take that, San Francisco.

Festive Challah from Breads Bakery ($8.95)

A sweet wreath–sprinkled with six types of seeds–makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, like a year-round Christmas sweater that you can eat. 

Potato Focaccia with Nigella Seeds from Nine Chains ($8)

Eats like a meal. Oily-in-a-good-way, pillowy focaccia studded throughout with soft chunks of potato and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt. #TeamNigella

Ciabatta from Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria ($7)

White bread, Italian-style. But there's nothing Plain Jane about the delicate crumb and flavorful crust of this ciabatta, perfect for soaking up olio nuovo.

Les Olives from Lafayette ($7)

Holy briny goodness, Batman. This beautifully knotted, unbelievably moist loaf is plump with Picholine and oil-cured olives.

Brioche from Runner & Stone ($5)

This nontraditional challah made us holler: no egg wash here, folks–just a dusting of flour. The secret to its subtly sweet, almost floral flavor? Orange blossom water.

Pane Pugliese from Sullivan Street Bakery ($4.50)

Still crusty after all these years. Bite through the shattering crust–classic of the form–and find a chewy interior with an ideal airy crumb.