Every morning, before the sun rises, bakers in the Bronx Baking Co. hand-roll and bake hundreds of authentic German-style soft pretzels, season them with the finest herbs and spices, and then deliver the sought-after snack to restaurants, breweries, and bars across New York City.
This February, Eataly NYC Downtown is one of them! Dedicated to bread, our lower Manhattan location chose to feature Germany as this month’s international pane — and what’s more German than a pretzel?
“Germans eat pretzels and pretzel breads in many applications, much more than Americans," explained Alexis Faraci, owner of Bronx Baking Co. “It's easy to see why: German pretzels are extremely flavorful and have a distinctive pretzel crust."
After moving back to her native Bronx, Faraci founded the bakery in 2013 with inspiration from a German friend.
“He said no real German pretzels existed in NYC, and he was right,” she remembered. “So, I set out to make the most authentic German-style product that I could.”
Faraci was serious. First, she researched all things German pretzels through recipes and articles, discovering that they fall under the bread family Laugen Brocht, or lye-dipped bread. She also traveled to Germany to study under pretzel professionals, from a small-town local baker to a national master baker. Then, she hit the kitchen.
“I have many German friends, and I subjected them to a lot of taste testing,” Faraci said. “Finally, I came to the formula and process I use today: the Swabian style specifically, which are characterized by their skinny arms and fat chewy bottoms."
Perfectly chewy and flavored, the resulting pretzel twists and bread were a city success.
“I found that New Yorkers who were not previously fans of pretzels were getting excited about them,” Faraci said. “Ours in no way resemble street cart pretzels, and I think that came as a pleasant surprise.”
Bronx Baking Co. quickly outgrew its small commercial bakery on City Island, the small community located along the western coast of the Bronx, and moved to its current home in Port Morris, a friendly neighborhood in the southern Bronx known for its craft beer movement. The bakery continues to hand-roll pretzels in small batches.
At Eataly, we were thrilled to offer this taste of Germany in our Downtown store. Faraci’s values align perfectly with our own.
“Bronx Baking is as committed to creating quality products as Eataly is to selling them," Faraci agreed. “Educating people about the traditions of the product is also an essential component of both our ideas of customer service.”
With daily deliveries from Bronx Baking Co., Eataly NYC Downtown offering special pretzel dishes at our counters, freshly-baked twists in our bakery, and free classes led by Faraci herself.
Learn more about Bronx Baking Co. at Eataly NYC Downtown!