With all the family meals planned for the holidays, baked goods are a great way to make a meal special. Soft dinner rolls, hearty breads and tempting pies and cakes appeal to everyone at the table, even the most finicky eaters.
For those with the inclination to bake but not the time, a quality local bakery is a godsend. In an earlier article, we explored bakeries on the east side of town. This story looks at bakeries west of Charles Street.
Hampden is fortunate to have two good bakeries, and they represent both ends of the spectrum. On 36th Street, there's the elegant Puffs and Pastries, recently opened by Anisha Jagtap. The young pastry chef, who has worked at Sascha's and Atwater's, turns out a gorgeous array of European-style cakes, cupcakes, tarts and cream puffs.
Over on Chestnut, there's the earthy and unassuming New System Bakery, offering the same variety of cakes, cookies, Danish and sweet rolls Baltimoreans have enjoyed for years. There's also ample seating and a breakfast menu.
In Randallstown, Old World Deli & Bakery has been supplying German breads, rolls and cakes -- baked on the premises -- for decades. Gary Hein, a member of the family that owns the business, said the store may be best known for its Black Forest cherry cake and its Bee Sting Cake, which is a yeast dough filled with Bavarian cream and topped with honey-roasted almonds.
"We also make pumpernickel bread, Baltic light rye and Dutch top rolls, which are like a kaiser roll except they're made with rice flour and have a crackly top," Hein said. "Those rolls used to be more popular in Baltimore, but they're hard to find now."
In Ellicott City, The Breadery has been supplying consumers, retail markets such as Whole Foods, and restaurants for 12 years. The Breadery sells wholesome and delicious breads, savory focaccia and tasty muffins from a storefront at 9251 Baltimore National Pike, behind Starbucks. You can also find friendly owner Mike Lanasa at the Baltimore Farmers Market and other community markets around town.
For more on local bakeries, see Christine's previous article here.