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Do you know what YO YO Bread is? — Brooklynian

Do you know what YO YO Bread is?

edited November -1 in Brooklyn Eats

Hi all, I've been searching for a recipe for many years and was hoping you could help.

I grew up in Bensonhurst, and there was a local grocery store there called Aiello's. Over near the deli counter, they had a store-made bread that I can only remember as "Yo Yo Bread," though as I was pretty young, it may have had another name. This would have been circa 1986-1992.

It was a round loaf with a hole in the middle (as if cooked in a tube pan.) The bread itself tasted fried, though I suspect it was simply baked in a pan with a ton of olive oil.

Inside the bread were little chunks of ham, or maybe prosciutto or salami...maybe all three?

It is definitely not "lard bread," though I do love that too.

Is any one familiar with this bread? Specifically, I'm hoping to find a recipe for it so I can replicate it this Christmas.

Thank you so much!



  • I know what it is. I can't help with the recipe but I think Faicco's on 11th Avenue might have it. You can also try Mazzola's on Henry and Union Streets. Good luck and Merry Christmas!

  • Gio, thanks! I'll see if that helps my search at all. the reason I was looking for a recipe is because I no longer live in NY, but having these two new names may help.

    Thanks again, and Merry Christmas!

  • I will ask my cousin if she has a recipe and get back to you if she does.

  • I'm very curious about this bread too, sounds delicious. If you find out the official name for it or the recipe please post it! =P~

  • I just put a post on my Facebook page. Hopefully someone will have some information.

  • I know this is late, but it IS called yoyo bread! Clemente's on Ave T & W. 8th also has some great yoyo bread! :b
  • It's never too late!  :-)  Thanks for the info on yoyo bread.  If you ever come across a recipe, or even just a photo of it, please let me know!  Happy New Year!
  • The shape you are describing sounds like Ciambella bread and they do make that in a lard bread style with meat and cheese.
  • That looks really good!  I'll have to try that recipe, but the yoyo bread as I remember it was either deep fried, and baked in ALOT of oil.  Still, thanks so much for the recipe, because that looks like great bread!  
  • I love Yo yo bread, and would eat it all the time. Aiello's was the only place I knew to by it. We put a match to a loaf once just to see if it would ignite, try it and you'll know what I know.
  • Just a few minutes ago I was telling someone about this great tasting bread and when I searched for it on the net, Brooklyian came up.
  • I lived on 66st between 13th and 14th st, originally from Park Slope.
  • Hi Danny! Welcome to brooklynian!

    Man, every time someone replies to this thread I am reminded just how much I've wanted to try this bread. Here we are, 2 years later, and I still haven't seen it around. Why did it go extinct? It sounds amazing.
  • edited June 2015
    Yeah, Aiello's was the place to get it, at least when I was a kid. I miss it so much! It's funny, my Uncle actually stumbled upon this thread and then called my dad to ask if I posted it. I've been meaning to just go ahead and start experimenting with recipes of my own creation and hoping for the best.
  • I remember that bread!  Aiello's had the best deli section ever!   What I really miss is that spinach bread and proscuitto balls.  I think the breads were deep fried as it seems impossible spinach to taste that good!

    Whatever happened to the owners of Aiellos?  Is there another market somewhere?

  • Hey, PS163kid, I went to PS 163 too!  I graduated from that school around 1991 I think, and then went to Dyker Heights for a couple years before moving to Pennsylvania in 1993.

    Anyway, the Yo-Yo bread was definitely fried.  I had to consult my dad on the matter, but he insists they were kind of like large donuts in shape (though I remembered them larger for some reason).  Aiello's had been taken over by another store (I think it was a Key Food) sometime before I moved.  I can't remember if they kept up with the Yo-Yo bread after the takeover.  

    The prosciutto balls luckily I can replicate pretty well, but the Yo-Yo bread is something I haven't been able to find a recipe for.  One of these days I'm going to experiment with it.

    I totally forgot about he spinach bread!  
  • By the way, do you remember what kinds of meat were inside the yoyo bread?  I remember it as being ham, but my dad is saying it was prosciutto and salami.  Maybe all three?
  • While searching myself, for this elusive treat from my past, I found your thread here. I should also add that it's the only reference to yo yo bread that I found online. I decided to continue my quest on Facebook's Bensonhurst Yesterday and Today group, and within 1 hour I was able to locate someone who worked in Aiellos and knew the secret that we were searching for. Below is a direct quote from that person: "So they took every end they had except for head cheese and ground it up like chop meat. They added a bit of cheese to it as well and used there pizza dough. So economically speaking it was a home run for them. They also made pastrami rolls and bolongna and cheese rolls . The spinach was drenched in love otherwise know as olive oil and mixed with cheeses as well. The meat mixture was wraped by the dough.. It was the flavor of all the meats that gave it that special taste." It was then very deep fried and was half oil and Half meat. He's referring to the ends from the cold cuts. I hope this is enough info for you to achieve replication. He didn't say what cold cuts, just all the ends. Be creative.
  • Tony971, Wow, thank you so much! That is definitely the closest I have ever come to an actual recipe for the yo yo bread and the spinach bread. Just knowing that it's pizza dough is a huge help. Admittedly, I didn't remember the meat mixture inside being ground up (to my memory it was chunks of diced ham etc that ran throughout the bread), but I was also very very young, and it has been many, many years. I'm going to give this a try over the holiday season and will post here when I do. Thanks again!
  • I love this post, and it's also made me hungry!
  • Thanks, MOD. It's crazy to think I posted this way back in 2013! I love that every now and then a new comment pops up with some more information. With Tony's new contribution, I think this is definitely the year I finally try to recreate Yo Yo bread!
  • This post is worthy of a meetup where everyone gets together and brings their try at recreating yo yo bread.
  • edited December 2017
    Okay, folks. Thanks to Tony971's contribution (and it being the holidays), I finally tried a test run of Yo Yo Bread. Staying true to Tony's recipe, I basically just bought whatever "end pieces" of meat and cheese the supermarket had that day. What follows is exactly what I did, the ingredients I used, and pictures. I didn't weigh anything out, but I basically just diced up all the following meat and cheese, then mixed it together (maybe about half a pound to 3/4 of a pound all together): Pepper prosciuttini, boiled ham, prosciutto, genoa salami, and provolone. To that I added some graded Parmesan cheese. IMG_20171217_154027747 I bought a pizza dough for this, though in the future I'll probably make my own since I now know this comes out good. I rolled out the pizza dough and spread the meat and cheese mixture on top: IMG_20171217_154348436 I rolled this up like a Swiss roll, then cut it in half and formed two circles (mainly because my deep frier is small). IMG_20171217_154659831 IMG_20171217_155207839 Finally, of course, I deep fried them for about 8 minutes on 350, flipping as necessary. They probably could have gone 10 minutes. IMG_20171217_162432052 I thought they came out really, really good. But of course, I'm not sure how badly you could really screw up fried dough with meat and cheese inside. I thought they had the flavor of the original yoyo bread, so that was good. I could have probably cut the meat a little smaller, and I'm not really sure if the way I rolled it up was correct, but I was pretty happy with the results. Of course, any new information and recipe tweaks are always more than welcome (let's keep this thread alive!). I'd like to see your own YoYo bread pics too!
  • Hot damn, that looks good!
  • Thanks, MOD. It was exciting to finally make it. I'm going to make the spinach version on Christmas eve, and try these again with a different meat combo, smaller cut, and homemade dough for New Year.
  • Very interesting reading this thread. I worked at Aiello's in the deli many years ago. While reading this, I recalled the Yo Yo bread, but when I got to the picture I thought, "You nailed it!" Your picture looks exactly like the cooked Yo Yo bread that I remember. I'm going to make this and will use salami, ham, prosciutto and provolone.
  • Sguy212, thanks so much! We actually continued the discussion a little bit over on Facebook's Bensonhurst Yesterday and Today group, and I realized I definitely needed to cut the meat more. They apparently ran it through a meat grinder. I'll try using my food processor the next time. We also got a slightly more detailed accounting of the types of meat that went into it: ham, Virginia ham, cappy ham, (different types of ham was the predominant meat), salami, pepperoni. He also mentioned vaguely remembering american and swiss cheese going in, but I'll probably just stick to provolone and grated cheese. If you make it, I'd love to see some pics. Merry Christmas, happy holidays!
  • I nominate this for best brooklynian thread of all time
  • onipar: what type of oil did you use?