There are some places we go to that evoke the these amazing and beautiful memories of some of the best and most meaningful moments in our lives. For myself and my family, 3 Brothers Bakery in Houston is one of those places. Growing up, I remember the cake stand in my step-mom’s kitchen could rarely be found without poppy seed strudel and a dozen fresh gingerbread cookies from the bakery, most with their heads eaten off thanks to my older brother Ash (yes I did say older). My maw maw and paw paw would come into town from Louisiana to visit with all of us, and as soon as it was time to go, there was always one stop they had to hit before they left – 3 Brothers Bakery for the chocolate cake, danish rings, rye bread, and so much more. My maw maw used to freeze the danish rings and serve later with coffee for company, and the smell of sweet bread toasting in the oven filled the kitchen air. I love memories like this :).
3 Brothers is not just a bakery – it’s a Houston staple. There are so many new bakeries popping up in town recently, and the competition is fiercely growing. But bakeries come and go, and I promise you this one won’t be going anywhere. With over 400 items offered, the best pies in the country, employees working all hours of the night (literally, there is a 9pm-7am shift), and Bobby’s 93-year-old father who still comes in weekly to check that everything is going smoothly – they put their blood, sweat, and tears into this bakery, and it shows in everything they do.
I am so lucky to have these beautiful memories of generations of my family eating at the bakery, and the great times we spent together. 3 Brothers has in insanely rich history, recipes dating back 200 years, and is now run by Bobby Jucker and other members of his family. I had the privilege of being able to spend an afternoon with Bobby and my step-mom Jeannie, learning a few of our favorite desserts. It even got emotional when Jeannie told Bobby about the moments she remembered taking her father pastries when he was sick, and all the times they left town and just had to make that one last stop at the bakery. I could tell it resonated with Bobby, and it was so nice to see how much he actually remembered – like I said, it’s not just a bakery. Chances are if you have been more than twice, they know you. That’s one of the things I really wanted to stress when I wrote this post – there are bakeries all around town… but this isn’t JUST a bakery. It’s so much more – family, friends, love… it’s a staple in our community. There aren’t many places left like this, and it’s so important to preserve them.
Now… on to the poppy seed strudel… holy moly. My dad who is super health conscious can’t even pass these babies up. Bobby showed us step by step how he makes these highly addictive desserts, and now I get to show you!
POPPY SEED STRUDEL INSTRUCTIONS
– First, it’s important to note there is NO BUTTER in the dough – he uses cake shortening instead (in order to keep kosher).
– Flour the board and then roll out your dough. Spread poppy butter out evenly over dough, making sure not to rip it. (You can buy poppy butter canned in store by the pie fillings). Then, sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over the poppy butter (3 Brothers uses challah bread crumbs). Don’t sprinkle too much, just a thin layer on top. Then, begin folding over the dough (about 4 inches) each time over and over until you have a gorgeous loaf to bake. Once you reach the last fold, butter the edge to seal it closed (to keep kosher use the melted shortening). Make sure the fold is on the bottom and lay out the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
– Make cuts on the top of the loaf, egg wash, and then proof for about 45 minutes. Then, bake, cut, and serve!!!
I imagine the caption on this picture to be “Lizzy stop taking freaking notes and watch already!”
A few facts about the bakery:
– Home delivery and shipping.
– Many holiday specials and custom made GINGERBREAD HOUSES!!
– Makes over 400 different types of pastries and breads.
– Builds custom cakes, including wedding, birthday, and so much more!
– 3 convenient locations open 7 days/week – Memorial, Braeswood, and now an awesome new Washington St. location! I love the Washington location because it is has bit of a younger vibe and a good amount of seating to hang out!