Koko bakery (watertown)

The tomato is only pressed, not blended, so the juice is mostly clear, with little pulp (it’s tomato water actually, inspired by Ken Oringer’s tomato water martini at Clio), so the drink is actually not at all like a bloody mary, but brings out the sweetness of the tomato.

Sycamore in Newton makes a bloody mary variant that uses tomato water instead of tomato juice. It’s quite good.

1 Like

Tomato water is how I use all those extra vine-ripened tomatoes when they all ripen at the same time. Love this stuff. Al Capone of Capone’s in Union Square is the one who turned me onto this stuff. He likes his with vodka. I like mine straight up with a pinch of Maldon salt.

I learned about tomato water from Paul Bernoulli’s cookbook, Cooking by Hand, and took some of the tomato water to Al Capone. He said he’d known about it a long time before…it makes the best gazpacho, and all those recipes that tell you to squeeze out the tomato juice and seeds before using are so wrong!

1 Like

sorry, Paul Bertolli. autocorrect and then you can’t edit… the tomato water looks almost clear and has such an intense tomato taste.

wow, how interesting! what do you do with the tomato water? besides mix it w/ vodka of course? and after you chop the tomatoes and set them over a colander to drain overnight, can you then use those tomatoes? i’m so curious.

Paul Bertolli keeps auto correcting to Bernoulli Cooking by hand book has a chapter called “12 ways of looking at tomatoes.” I have returned to this time and again for years.

He has some cocktail recipes … and I’ve never tried it, but you can put vodka in gazpacho as well…He calls the draining process making tomato essence, four pounds make about a quart. He has several uses of tomato essence (it comes out so pale, and so tomato ey…) and suggests using the tomato solid remains for a sauce or aromatic basis for a braise or soup or broth. I also love his recipe (page 18) for salad of parched summer vegetables…drying in a slow oven cherry tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant, red bell pepper…to concentrate the flavors. It’s fantastic (though keeping the oven at 300 for several hours is not something I’ve done very often, but it is a good use of the last summer harvest in the fall when it’s cooler out).

I think there are a lot more recipes out there for making the tomato essence/water on the internet these days.

1 Like

No mayo on a sandwich?!? Ever?!? Wow.

Anyway, Back to KOKO.

Stopped on Saturday A.M. ( BEWARE: Newton type hours, 7-3 tues thru fri, Sat. 8-12, closed Sun. AND Mon. Similiar to Depasquales Sausage , which is three minutes away) and if there is a more upbeat sweet staff, I dont think I have been in that store.

These women are wonderful. Families inside and out , laughing , carrying on. One of the most beautiful three or four year old Japanese girls I have ever seen and Japanese and English being spoken simultaneously. This place and its impeccably clean kitchen has got to make you smile.

Espescially when youre next stop is Costco and the Asian Mother behind tries to saw the heart out of your chest with her eyes at checkout because you are moving too slowly trying to get youre bags together.

KOKO’s Shokupan is very good, dairy rich and perfect for toasting. The KOKO loaf might be even better for toasting but for sandwiches I would stick with the shokupan.

For those of you who feel this is “just white bread” , thats fine. Ill have yours. It made flawless sandwiches, toasted, brushed with bacon fat, homemade mayo, Thumans bacon ( get it at Russos, five minutes away) , romaine leaves, and salted and peppered Heirloom tomatoes. It got actual groans out of my wife and daughter.

The only other thing I tried (this time) was a chocolate croissant which was very good, but I dont eat a lot of pastry anymore and and probably need others to rate that for the board.

But if youre at Russo’s ( whose bread I have always found , meh) Take a 5 minute drive to KOKO and load up on the bread. They will be happy to see you.

(or, at Russo’s get hot capicola, prosciutto, mortadella, salami, provalone, and the stuff to make this, https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/06/pickled-vegetable-sandwich-slaw/
then go to Antoines Bakery, two doors down from Depasquales Sausages, and get sub rolls and have grinders for the neighborhood.)
No lettuce.

Get sausages from Depasquales at the same time and have sausage bombs for a chaser.



If I need additional fat on bread I prefer high quality butter (but obviously there are sandwich variation in shops which would make hard to avoid mayo, especially banh mi for us)

this sounds promising. do they only have sweet pastries, or is there anything like the Cafe Japonaise curry donut? I used to love those.

(I also love mayo).

I ran in shortly before closing today. There were a few savory things in the case but don’t ask me what they were - I was bread focused today.

I bought a 1/2 loaf of their “rich white bread” (what it was called on the board" and a baguette.

I’ve only sampled the baguette so far - great crust, wish the interior had a little more flavor.

The white bread is for BLTs for dinner. It looks and feels great. Hoping for good things.

I’ll be back to try some of their other items. The staff was extremely nice - big bonus for that.

their rich white bread was wonderful. Like the best white sandwich bread ever . . . . rich, soft, pillowy, and strong enough to hold together. Yum.

1 Like

Can anyone tell me how that white bread is in comparison to the Pain De Mie at Clear Flour?

Sorry haven’t had Clear Flour yet.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter!

Press Room
“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold