Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Bakingby Stanley Ginsberg, Norman Berg
Traditional Eastern European Jewish baking, along with the culture in which it evolved, is rapidly disappearing. Younger generations of American Jews are becoming increasingly assimilated into mainstream society. Small, family-run Jewish bakeries that once lay at the heart of their communities have fallen victim to the demise of the old-school bakers, shifting… See more details below
Traditional Eastern European Jewish baking, along with the culture in which it evolved, is rapidly disappearing. Younger generations of American Jews are becoming increasingly assimilated into mainstream society. Small, family-run Jewish bakeries that once lay at the heart of their communities have fallen victim to the demise of the old-school bakers, shifting demographics and the economic firepower of diversified corporate food processors.
More than a collection of recipes, Inside the Jewish Bakerychronicles the history and traditions�as well as the distinctive baked goods�of Ashkenazic Jewry in Eastern Europe and America. Drawing on sources as diverse as the Talmud, Sholom Aleichem and the yizkor books that memorialize communities destroyed in the Holocaust, the authors have crafted an engaging "edible history" that endows their recipes with a powerful sense of time and place.
Here, home bakers of all skill levels will learn to recreate the authentically Jewish breads, pastries, cookies and cakes that once filled the shelves of neighborhood bakeries. The recipes themselves are based on the professional formulas used by America's Jewish bakers during their Golden Age, adapted and tested for home kitchens.
In the chapter on rye bread, the authors present a range of recipes that span its history, from the dense black ryes of Eastern Europe and the traditional corn and deli ryes to today's lighter, less intensely flavored breads. They show us the many faces of challah as it evolved through the centuries and recount the roots and Americanization of bagels and bialys�as well as recipes for a host of all-but-forgotten favorites like onion rolls, pletsl and salt sticks. And they evoke life in the traditional bakeries of decades past.
In the chapters on pastries, cakes and cookies, you'll find recipes for sweet treats that have all but disappeared from America's baking repertoire�noshes like Russian coffee cake, honey cake made with rye flour, mandelbroyt, marbled wonder cake and black and white cookies that made Sunday mornings and festive occasions so memorable. A special chapter on Passover baking provides recipes for a host of leaven-free desserts to grace the Seder table.
Inside the Jewish Bakery takes you inside a fast-disappearing tradition. It is a book that is timeless in its appeal and is required reading for anyone interested in Ashkenazic Jewish history, culture and baking.
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Bread is one of my biggest weaknesses. Other than a cheese shop, a bakery can draw me in quicker than anything. I love baking my own bread and filling the house with the wonderful smells and then sitting down to the amazing flavors. I expected this book to be right up my alley. Make no mistake; there are some great recipes in this book. I was very disappointed with the number of errors. I actually received the second edition, so I expected the errors to be fixed. There's only half a dozen or so on the errata page, but those were noted to be mistakes in the first edition so I was really surprised that ALL the mistakes weren't corrected for the second edition. I also had to laugh out loud at the recipe for Bakery Challah which calls for 7 1/2 egg yolks. Really?! I've never seen a recipe call for you to split an egg yolk before! This book is filled with wonderful recipes that call you in and cry out to be made. I can imagine that this would be a jewel for someone who grew up in New York or somewhere with Jewish bakeries and now has moved away and can't get all the lovely baked goods they grew up with. I hear people talk about the different breads, rolls or pastries that were their favorites, and chances are they're in this book! I just have to caution you to print out the errata page for any corrections first. I received a copy of this book from Camino Books for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.