Food for Thought

On Fridays, Rosie serves a mixed stew of NJ food and dining information. Today, read about our visit to Hudson Bread Company in North Bergen.

What do David Burke Fromagerie, Morris Tap & Grill, Morton’s, Oceanos, Orange & Olive, Pluckemin Inn, Session Bistro, Uproot, Undici and almost 250 NJ restaurants and food establishments have in common? They all serve artisan breads from Hudson Bread, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Lowell and I recently toured the facilities and learned what makes the breads so tasty and sought after.

When dining out, if the bread impresses, we ask the server where it comes from. After hearing Hudson Bread numerous times, we wanted to learn more about this company. Bread—the first thing you eat at a restaurant—sets the standard for the rest of the meal. If the bread is good chances are high that the rest of the meal will be enjoyable. Discriminating chefs who pay attention to every part of your meal will take note of the bread they serve.

Our informative visit to Hudson Bread started with a tour. We saw how bins of ingredients were stored; bakers hand forming breads, such as the walnut loaves, challah, petite French rolls and onion and olive pockets; machines rolling out and shaping dough; breads being hand scored; stone-hearth ovens; cooling racks; and the packing room. The air had a wonderful rich bready/yeasty aroma.

Machines rolling out and shaping bread.

Hudson Bread processes its dough differently. It is not baked immediately after the dough has had its final rise. Instead, they put the shaped loaves in a 44-degree refrigerated space (retarder room) to slowly let the dough ferment and mature, creating a tastier product. They produce 40,000 to 50,000 pounds of dough daily, 364 days a year, and have 22 basic mother doughs from which 250 different products are created. The facilities are huge—60,000 square feet, and they distribute to New York, Pennsylvannia, Connectict and New Jersey.

Hudson Bread boules hot out of the oven.

So, if you do not own a restaurant how can you get this scrumptious bread? On the premises of Hudson Bread is the Breadman Café (soon to be renamed Hudson Bread Café), where their bread products are sold. Breads that may be available include dinner rolls, focaccia sheets, baquettes, heroes, Pullmans, sandwich, freeform (such as sourdough), pumpernickel and rye, boules, and loaves. Decorative breads can also be ordered. Since these are artisan breads, everything is natural, there are no preservatives, chemicals or mold inhibitors used.

Breads for sale at Hudson Bread Café.

The café, cozy with sofas, comfy chairs and even a water wall, offers sandwiches, dessert, coffee and tea. Be sure to check out the charming murals depicting Krakow Poland. Owner Mariusz Kolodziej was born in Poland and we learned his impressive history. When he came to the U.S. at age 24, he did not speak English or know anyone. His first job here was in real estate. Eventually he became the owner and founder of Hudson Bread, as well as being a very successful businessman in other areas, such as the Global Boxing Gym, which is attached to the bread company’s building.

Upon leaving, we were given bread to to take home. We are loving each morning when we enjoy a different variety for breakfast. So far we haven’t picked a favorite. Perhaps we will have to make a return visit.

Breads on display at Hudson Bread Café.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Hudson Bread
5601-5711 Tonnelle Avenue
North Bergen, NJ 07047

Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes, to [email protected].

Click here to leave a comment
Read more Table Hopping articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required not shown
Required not shown