The best bread begins in South Philly

Iannelli Bread South Philly Best Bakery

My City Paper
Adam Erace

The sheets of saucy tomato pie get top billing at 104-year-old Iannelli’s Bakery on East Passyunk near Ellsworth, but Vince Iannelli, the original owners’ grandson, does a respectable bread trade, too. He mixes dough (“simple ingredients — flour, water, yeast and salt”) on a 60-quart Hobart, rests, packs, proofs, shapes and proofs it again before a trip to the brick oven. Enveloped in thin, crackly, sometimes-sesame-speckled shells, the loaves that emerge have a chewy, pliable quality — not unlike a puffy pizza crust.