Would you like to spread holiday cheer or have the best looking dessert table without having to set foot inside your kitchen? Three Brothers Bakery has got you covered with pastries and breads that are not only a treat for the eyes, but for your taste buds as well. I visited the original kosher Braeswood location and was greeted by a wonderful smell that can only mean one thing…sugar. There’s so much to take in as soon as the bakery doors open; towering wedding cakes in the window, racks of fresh bread and of course the dessert cases filled with colorful treats of all sizes from cupcakes and gingerbread men, to full size cakes and pastries.
Bring on the sugar coma! I was ready to taste the holiday treats and started off with a gingerbread man; it was easy to see why this is the best-selling item in the bakery, regardless of the season. Fruit cake is a holiday tradition for many families, but Three Brother’s Bakery stopped selling them because their Stollen Cake (very close cousin of the fruit cake) kept outselling it every year. The Stollen Cake is full of fruit, nuts and topped with a healthy covering of confectioners’ sugar and it tastes as good as it looks.
No Texas holiday is complete without pecan pie and the Bakery has three kinds to choose from: Classic Pecan Pie, Deep Dish Pecan Pie, and Chocolate Fudge Pecan Pie. I will admit I was a bit partial to the Chocolate Fudge, but only because I think chocolate makes everything taste better. Regardless of which one you choose, they are all delicious. Three Brothers Bakery will also ship and was voted “Best Mail Order Pecan Pie” by Country Living Magazine, so take advantage and give your out-of-town friends and relatives a bit of Texas holiday love. Pumpkin Cheesecake is also a top seller at the bakery and each cheesecake is baked in a water bath, which keeps it moist and prevents cracking. While many cheesecakes are so rich you feel like you can’t eat too much of it, the Pumpkin Cheesecake is full of flavor but light enough that you will keep coming back for more.
The Jucker family opened the bakery in Houston 65 years ago and it has continued as a family business, now run by fifth generation baker, Bobby Jucker. The baking lineage started in Poland in the mid-1800’s and continued until 1941 when the family was sent to Nazi concentration camps. The three Jucker brothers and one sister survived, and in 1949 the three brothers opened their first bakery in Houston. Today the bakery still uses many of the same European influenced recipes in their baked goods including challah (egg bread) and rye breads, danish, bagels and cheese pockets. During my visit, I tasted the challah bread and it not only had great flavor, but the texture was perfect. If you’ve ever had the award winning French toast from Harry’s Restaurant and Café and wondered what makes it so good…it might just be because they source their challah bread from Three Brother’s Bakery.
Aside from the fact that generations have grown up eating their treats, there is more to love about Three Brothers Bakery. The bakery donates all of their unsold baked goods to the Star of Hope , a Houston homeless shelter, and most of the boxes you take your baked goods home in were made down the street by Celebration Company, which provides employment opportunities to people with disabilities. As Bobby Jucker likes to say, “we are memory makers who happen to be bakers”, so start your own tradition today and buy your holiday treats at one of the three Houston locations.
By Gabi De La Rosa