A soft, fluffy roll, you know, like a Kaiser roll. Only in Boston are they sometimes served at Chinese restaurants.
What are these bulkie rolls you speak of? I need some insight about the bulkie roll and all of its wonders. If anyone has any information to share with my ignorant Illinois self then I would greatly appreciate it.
Well Alison, I am a born and bred yank and I thought everyone new and had Bulkie rolls. I have a good friend in NY that is of Jewish descent and she has never heard of the almighty bulkie roll either. As a child my father (who was jewish) would always go to Water Street early Sunday morning (around 4 Am) and bring home fresh, hot bulkie rolls from the Jewish bakery. That and fresh butter ot cream cheese and lox, Yum. I found that in most of the US people know them as Hard rolls or Kieser rolls.Also you and a friend here in Massachusetts are the only people I have met that spell your first name with only (1) L. Most here use Allison.Doreen
I also am a native New Englander (Rhode Island, but, of course went to College in Boston, like everyone else). Imagine my surprise, upon joining the Air Force and moving away, that no one else has Bulkie Rolls. What am I to have my sandwiches on? Regular Bread?
Saying "Bulkie Rolls" is like saying "Trouser Pants"...They are BULKIES...period. End of discussion.
Ya know, I was talking to a friend from Texas and I mentioned a bulkie roll and she was like "what's that?" I never thought that this was only a "bostonian" word.
Does anyone know the derivation of the word "bulkie"? I thought it might be Yiddish, but I'm not sure.
Well, deli fans...I am shocked-- SHOCKED-- to discover that the Bulkie Roll is a product of Boston. I always assumed that the Bulkie (pronounced Bool'- kee) was revered and enjoyed by deli fans everywhere. I stand corrected...But is a Kaiser really the same thing? I always thought that the Kaiser was a little different than a Bulkie... I thought the Kaiser was a tad softer and eggier...I have heard Bulkies referred to both as Bulkie Rolls and Bulkies-- and this goes back to the 1960s.Related potential Bostonianisms related to deli or Jewish food:The Boston lat-kee (latke, the Jewish potato pancake) is a lat-kah to New Yorkers. I think a lat-kee has infinitely more character.Dark rye-- black bread to New Yorkers.Light rye-- often known to New Yorkers as corn bread, for some unfathomable reason. Or just known as rye.I'll give New Yorkers a pass on the dark rye/light rye front, though, because you can get top-flight corned beef and, sometimes, pastrami, in New York City. I generally like Boston's version of tongue better, though...
"sometimes served with chinese food." YES, but WHY???? I'm from AZ originally, but even my ahnt who's from Gahdnah hasn't ever heard of this silly practice. Why do they do this? I have friends all over the country, and I'm about sure Boston is the only place that gives you a little white roll with your Chinese takeout.
HI I GREW UP IN CHELSEA MA. ALSO LIVED IN RVRERE BEFORE MOVING TO FLORIDA IN 1989 I VISIT THE BOSTON AREA ABOUT TWICE A YEAR I ALWAYS LOOK FOR A GOOD BULKIE I WAS TOLD MANY YEARS AGO THAT BULKIE AND ROLL MEANT THE SAME THING I MISS THE GOOD BREAD OF THE OLD DAYS ESPECIALY THE GREEN AND FREEDMAN BAKERY IN BOSTON BYE FOR NOW JOHN
YEAH remember to say it boo key
Interestingly enough, I came across this website while EATING a bulkie! In Worcester, the best place to purchase bulkies is at Widoff's Bakery on Water Street, just off of Kelley Square. They are light, fluffy, buttery, and excellent for a sandwich. We used to have Lederman's Bakery on Water Street as well, and their bulkies tended to be not as light or fluffy- unfortunately, they closed down several years ago.
I never realized bulkie rolls were a Boston thing until today. I lived in Boston and Cambridge for several years and thought everyone knew what they were. But my family looked at me like I was nuts when I mentioned them today. I don't remember their being soft, though. They were kind of hard and tasteless. A friend of mine wanted to make up with her husband and thought she bought him a gorgeous torte at a French bakery in Newton. When he opened the box, there was a bulkie roll in it instead and he thought she was trying to make a statement. Needless to say, they didn't make up that night. For the record, I don't think most Californians know what they are.
TO All:Trying to track a SWEET bulkie recipe my grandmother made pre 1950's. She was Jewish from Lithuania raising her family in Roxbury. I mean REAL Roxbury, off Blue Hill Avenue near the former Benedict Fenwick school.The bulkie was shaped like a popover, but inside were a mixture of cinnamon, sugar and rehydrated raisins. The dough was a yeast dough and the mixture above was placed inside a square dough piece and the corners pinched together and the corners side face down in a muffin tin.Anybody please with a family recipe to match this one? Have looked for recipe since early 1960's.ThanksMike Becker
Yum! I like Piantedosi's best. And you're right, Kaiser rolls are softer and eggier. That's good too, but I like the plainer bulkie roll best for most sangwiches.
The name bulkie roll may come from the Polish word "bulki" which is just a generic word for bread. There are varieties of course, but when I think of bulkies I think of the great local stuff that's fluffy, but not too soft or chewie, and has a nice textured, flour covered crust.
My father used to also go down to Water St in Wustah on Sunday mornings to get fresh "bagels". For some reason "bagels" and "bulkies" were interchangeable back in the sixties. I don't think we actually had bagels in Wustah until the late eighties.
i thought people called those things bulkie rolls everywhere, i didnt even know that was just a boston thing
In New Jersey back in the 60's we bought all our Hard Rolls from a wonderful Jewish Bakery. Where oh where can I get a recipe for Hard Rolls? Please help.
The Chinese places serve small dinner rolls, not bulkies.The dinner rolls have a little shinier and harder crust.Bulkies are the best for cold cut sangies and I sure did miss them out West.Chinese w/o a dinner roll just doesn't seem right.Need to make a coupla little sangies with the boneless spareribs and lo mein.
Oh no - BAGELS were also on Water Street in the early 50s. Im in California now and what I wouldn't give to have a Water Street. Miss ALL THE FOOD really from east coast. Far better..............
Hey Everybody-I know I'm weighing in a little late on the bulkie discussion, but nothing - and I mean nothing- was better than a warm bulkie roll on a Sunday morning after 6 AM mass picked out of the big canvas bin at Widoff's bakery on Water St. in Worceater, Mass. By 7:30 AM everybody had stopped in to buy their supply - and nobody made at all the way home with the full dozen. By the way, I'm a New Englander and I aleays called light rye "corn."
I am a born and bred Yankee who went down to Water St in Worcester to buy my bulkies from the Jewish bakery. I wish I knew how to make them because I can't find any down here in Florida !Saw one recipe which has pumpernickel flour in it but that is not authentic.Arline
"bulke" (pron. "bull-keh") is the Yiddish word for that type of roll. So Bulkie Roll is as redundant as "pizza pie".
Interesting and talk about bringing back some memories! I've lived in California now for 23 years however grew up in Worcester (pronounce "Wustah" to true New Englanders). The one memory I have is my dad and I every early Sunday morning heading down to Water St. I can remember driving down Water St. and smelling the boo-kee's (as we pronounced them) being baked.I agree....Widoff's Bakery had the very BEST! They smelt so good that my dad and I couldn't help ourselves and would eat one on the way home! Small but an awesome memory.
#1 - People call them bulike rolls, as they are often asked "what kind of bread to you want your sandwich on", Sub Roll, Bulkie Roll, Rye Bread etc. So it makes perfect sense that they call it that.#2 - They dont serve bulkie rolls with Chinese food. The rolls they give with Chinese food are MUCH smaller than bulkie rolls...more like dinner rolls.#3 - The reason they do this is lots of people order lobster sauce, beef with broccoli or other dishes with a brown sauce that is lovely to soak up with a nice roll.
the cassaro bakery on medford st. in medford, cassaro bakery was first in the west end of boston before it moved to medford, ma. greene and freedman bought there trucks after they went out of business (IRS PROBLEMS) there bread was the best, how do i know this i would eat there bread everyday my grandfather was one of the owner of the casssaro bakery and my joseph cassaro worked there. there will never be bread like cassaro's bread
Nobody but a few remaining Cassaro's have the recipe and no one ever will. It was the best and there will never be another like it.........
Diana, the bakery was on Mystic Av. I too ate their bread everyday as my grandfather drove a delivery truck for your family. Their will never be a better french bread than cassaro's
Do yoy have pictures of the bakery? I volunteer for the West End Museum as a social media manager and would love to reshare any pictures of former West Enders you might have.
Your description sounds like bulka, or babka, a sweet bread with raisins my Lithuanian family has made for years. You can substitute a sweet brioche recipe (more commonly available)for the bread/rolls and fill however you'd like. Apricot pieces with jam also make a good filling. If your rolls had a thick, dark crust that was chewy, rather than hard, you can make this by brushing the tops with milk before baking. Don't do anything if you want a regular bread-type crust.
Years ago I posted the following and just saw your post from last year. Do you have a favority recipe?
TO All:Trying to track a SWEET bulkie recipe my grandmother made pre 1950's.
She was Jewish from Lithuania raising her family in Roxbury. I mean REAL Roxbury, off Blue Hill Avenue near the former Benedict Fenwick school.
The bulkie was shaped like a popover, but inside were a mixture of cinnamon, sugar and rehydrated raisins. The dough was a yeast dough and the mixture above was placed inside a square dough piece and the corners pinched together and the corners side face down in a muffin tin.
Anybody please with a family recipe to match this one? Have looked for recipe since early 1960's.
I just posted this today minutes before I saw your post.....
Bulkies in our Roxbury, MA home meant two things:
1. Regular, but delicious Kaiser rolls.
2. A raised, yeasted slightly sweet dough, filled with raisins hydrated ,cinamon and a sprinkle of sugar. closed up and a cross between a pop over with substance and sticky bun without glaze and very soft, with an egg wash top.
This is what the Cohen/Glaser household (from Lithuania) grew up on.
Sadly my grandmother passed away in 1957 and none of us who baked with her have been able to reproduce the combination.
A delicious memory, unless someone has a similar recipe.
Anybody else with same baked desert with a different name.
Would appreciate your help with recipe and any area of the country where these are served in a bakery.
Awesome lifelong search, thanks.
in western mass. bulkies are called water rolls, same thing as a bukie, just a different name. western mass. never heard of a bulkie.
i grew up next to worcester mass. they had a jewish section where they had delies and bakeries. The street was water street in worcester mass at the widoff bakery. There you will find the most delsious bulkie rolls and most of the time they are hot out of the oven.I lived in mass for 58 years and grew up on bulkies.I recently moved to cincinnati ohio.they do not have bulkies here or have ever heard of them.They have kaizer rolls ,which are close to bulkies but still not a bulkie from widoffs! I am heading up to mass this year and plan on buying several dozen to bring home and freeze if they make the trip back.lol I didnt realise massachusetts is the only place that has bulkies.
I see your a Laukaitis, Me too and love them when I'm home. where is the Laukaitis family from? Mine from Worcester Ma 1927. then parents moved to Auburn MA.. Just asking cuz Bulkies came up at lunch today and nobody in Virginia Beach has a clue. Chris
You could go into Widoff's or Lederman's on Water Street in Worcester and get bulkies. It's a very important symbol of Worcester.When I visit former Worcester residents around the country, they often ask "Where's the boo-keys?" The stores on Water Street were mostly on by Jewish merchants. Their patrons were diverse though their was a large Polish population close by in the Ward St. area.
We always pronounced them boo-keys. It was always wise to ask for "hot" bookeys. "A half dozen hot bulkies with seeds please." Everyone got a least one in the car on the ride home. The street was cobblestone.
I have cousins who anglicized bulkie down to "boogie" roll. It bothered me every time I heard it, but it was their family name for the product, and it worked for them.
My Uncle owned a corner store, B & 4th Variety in Southie which had a small deli counter for sandwiches. I worked there starting when I was 12 through my early 20's (80's-90's). We had fresh Bulkie Rolls delivered everyday from a bakery in Dorchester. There was nothing like making a roast beef and cheese on a bulkie roll. Our most expensive sandwich was less than $4.00. Man I could go for one of those right about now.
I just picked up a dozen bulkies at Widoff's in Worcester. Still there and still great! Add me to the list who never knew the "boo-key" was regional.
Grew up in Western Mass and never knew bulkie were New England things. Anyway, I ordered a roast beef with LTM on a bulkie and the lady looked at me and asked if I wanted a sub instead? The damn bulkies were sitting right there so I pointed. It said kaiser but it wasn't one, it was a bulkie.
We call them bulkies (not bulkie rolls -- that's redundant!) here in northeastern Connecticut, but we usually say "bulk" like "buying in bulk," not "BOOL-kie." I always find that weird, since central Connecticut has the highest percentage of native-born Poles by population of any part of the country, meaning you'd think we'd go with the more native pronunciation, but we don't.
Of course, we also call certain other sandwiches grinders, not subs (even though Subway is based here; go figure), but that's a battle the gods themselves will have to sort out.
My Dad is from Wista, & lived near Jewtown (Kelley Square/Water St.) when growing up. That, BTW, is NOT a slur- that's what everyone called it back then, even the storekeepers. We loved the place & the people, except when you wanted a boo-kie on Saturday (heh). We always got the unsalted butter at Whitman's Dairy, across the street from Lederman's.
Down in Wista recently, & stopped into Weintraub's for a pastrami sandwich & a birch beer- still good as ever.
Over to Widoff's to get the boo-kies, but I found they've gone the way Lederman's boo-kies had before- pumped up w/air.
Anyone know where you can get the 60's vintage bready/chewy-type anymore?
I grew up in, and am still living in, Western Mass and I've actually never heard the term "Bulkie Roll". Always used "Kaiser Roll". Interesting.
Well, this is correct, bulkie comes from Polish "bu?ka', which just means bread roll, BUT in Poland kaiser rolls ("kajzerka", plural - "kajzerki") are the most popular small bread rolls (BTW they are not soft - they have this cuts at the top so they are more crusty, anyway proper "kajzerki" are very crusty and hard, not only on top)... so this is where the term bulkie comes from, when in Poland you say bu?ka you probably mean kaiser roll (they are sold in every shop that sells bread)
I lived in East Hartford, Conn. during WWll. As a high schooler we used to ride the bus over to Hartford to go to the movies. After the movie we went to an Italian bar and bough "Guiny Grinders" They were made on a loaf of fantastic italian bread. They had various meats, big slabs of sweet pepper, cheese, and I don't remember what else, but I remember the innards being prepared on a large griddle behind the bar. They had a flavor out of this world! I have never been able to find anything like that since, and on a visit to the area a few years ago there was no bar nor any source at all for a real grinder. The current generation had no inkling. How terribly sad.
I wooed my girl who became my wife in Scarsdale, NY. Her family introduced me to ham and cheese sandwich on a hard roll. They were purchased at a Jewish deli and were soooo good. I have not found anything approaching a hard roll since leaving that area, but Kaiser rolls are everywhere. There is no comparison in taste, although a Kaiser roll is closer than any other. Never heard of a bulkie roll.
In Czech, bulkie is the plural of bulka, a segmented crusty white bread roll. They are half as thick as a classic Water Str. bulkie.
So close but so far away.
Bulkies in our Roxbury, MA home meant two things:
1. Regular, but delicious Kaiser rolls.
2. A raised, yeasted slightly sweet dough, filled with raisins hydrated ,cinamon and a sprinkle of sugar. closed up and a cross between a pop over with substance and sticky bun without glaze and very soft, with an egg wash top. This is what the Cohen/Glaser household (from Lithuania) grew up on. Sadly my grandmother passed away in 1957 and none of us who baked with her have been able to reproduce the combination. A delicious memory, unless someone has a similar recipe. Anybody else with same baked desert with a different name.
I, too am a native Bostonian. I've endured decades of double takes from people when I ask for a frappe, a tonic, a spuckie or a bulkie roll.
I worked in a Jewish bakery as a teen, and they sold bulkies (we pronounced it boo-key) along with a wide assortment of Jewish and Eastern European breads. I'm sure the origin of the name comes from one of the Slavic countries. We Bostonians like to adapt our language to include newcomers to our city.
Related to that is the word "spuckie". If you lived in South Boston, you ordered a spuckie when you went to the local sub shop. I used the word with friends from Jamaica Plain one day and they all said "What's that?" I was mortified, and didn't use that word again for 20 years. Finally, one day I decided to google it. Turns out that "spuckie" is an Italian roll. I chuckled to think that the group that I was with that day was mostly of Italian decent and had no idea.
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