Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking
By: Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg
Publisher: Camino Books, Inc.
Publication Date: October 2011
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 17, 2011
Yum… just the cover of this book is enough to get one salivating at the fabulous aromas sure to drift from your kitchen as you try your hand at baking some of the delectable breads, rolls, bialys, pastries, and cookies that grace the pages of this new cookbook. Yum it is!
The first thing that struck me about this book was how nicely it was laid out. The pages were clean, with instructions neatly lined out, making it easy to follow. While this may sound like an irrelevant thing, I’ve seen so many cookbooks where the information is crammed together, going every which way, that it makes any attempts to follow the directions seem daunting. Now it was on to baking some things from this book.
I was quite pleased with how my baked goods came out. My coffee cake was particularly tasty and my kids “snarfed” it down in record time. While making your own dough as the book suggests can be time consuming, it was satisfying to say “I made it from scratch.” True, I admit to cheating on a few recipes and starting with the dough already made, but still, the breads and other baked goods came out tasty and received positive comments from my family.
Inside the Jewish Bakery is more than just a cookbook. There is a nice opening section detailing the history behind Jewish baking. There are also sidebars throughout with little tidbits of advice or comments from the authors, such as “Secret, Shmecret” which discusses whether the use of stale rye bread really is the secret to authentic New York Jewish rye; another on why bakers hate the holidays and perhaps the best one, a four-page spread with an hour by hour schedule of what Norman Berg does during a typical night, from 10PM through 9AM. Whew, I was tired just reading it!
Quill says: You certainly don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this book. Yum!