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A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World Hardcover – November 15, 2004
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Glezers book shows the remarkable variety of the Jewish table throughout the world... -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It is reassuring to find as accomplished and authoritative a collection as this one. -- The New York Times
This is a must for the devoted bread baker. -- Cookbook Digest
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
The book opens with an intro on challah and bread, and an indexed listing of recipes by type of bread (including holiday breads, 6-hour or less breads, crusty breads, flavorful breads, etc.) This is followed by a chapter on the Genesis of Challah; and a Primer on bread preparation (fermenting, punching, kneading, dividing, proofing, glazing, etc.) There is even a chapter just for a mixed multitude of challah braids and shapes with step by step braiding photos, including instructions for a hand challah, a shlissel (key) challah, a string of pearls challah, and a ladder challah also. There are then chapters for bread recipes of the Ashkenazi, Sephardi, North African, Near Eastern, and New Tradition Jewish people.
Among the best recipes are ones for -- Ashkenazi: Czernowitzer Challah, Guatamalen Challah (with cardamon), Russian Challah, a ring challah, a Lithuanian Challah (no eggs, low sugar), bagels, a babka, rye bread, Lekach honey cake, and Hungarian Makos; Sephardic: Churak of Rhodes, Greek Rolls with Zante currants, Salonika style country bread, Pande Calabazi Pumpkin Bread, and Roscas with cloves; North African: Ethiopian Bereketei Sabbath Bread, Moroccan Purim Bread (chubzei), some Muffleta just for Mimouna, and Egyptian Rarifal Rarif; and Near Eastern: Iranian Barbari, various pitas, Azerbaijani Noon, Bukharan Nooni, Yemeni Kubana, Lachuch, and Samneh.
In addition to providing the blessing for Challah, Glezer also includes the Hebrew Shabbat blessings of the washing of hands and Hamotzi (Blessing of Bread).
On to the recipes themselves: divided by region, there are numerous challahs, from the relatively plain Lithuanian Challah (no sugar or eggs) to Doris Koplin's Sweet Challah, liberally glazed with confectioner's sugar, maraschino cherries, raisins, and pecans. For those of you who enjoy working with sourdough, nearly every recipe has a sourdough version available. Although I've yet to experiment with sourdough starters, I appreciated the versatility.
In addition to challah, there are also yeast breads like the Polish coffeecake Babka, an onion and poppyseed Purim ring, onion rounds, bagels, and Hungarian walnut and poppyseed pastries. From the Sephardic tradition, we have the Churek, Greek walnut and currant rolls, and the intriguing Pan de Calabaza (Pumpkin bread). North African recipes include whole wheat Sabbath Bereketei, the incredibly ornate Chubzeh, and Rarif (Egyptian Cheese Rolls). From the East, Persian and Iraqi flatbreads, pitas, several Yemenite recipes for pancakes and smoked preserved butter, Israeli matzoh, and Syrian and Iraqi pastries.
The preface also includes an incredibly detailed guide to braiding challah, from a simple single strand braid to a challenging nine-strand compound braid, along with folkloric shapes like little birds, braided wreaths, pinwheels, key challah, ladder challah for Shavuot, and hand challah.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book meet all expectations with regard to the history of baking challah
The recipes are clear and well written I have given at least a dozen of these books away as... Read more
A beautiful and inspirational book. It covers all I could want and I am excited to cover all of the recipes.Published 4 months ago by Joelyn L. Gast
This is the third copy I have purchased for a gift. It is an excellent bread baking reference, with some really great traditional breads.Published 9 months ago by library lady
Great breads. If you like to make bread the old fashion way...Great book.house smells great.Published 12 months ago by Susan G. Rhoads
I have not read this book cover to cover yet, but it is a big book with wonderful pictures, ideas, & information. The sections I have read were well written and informative. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Lynne
Bought this as a library sale item for cheap. For the traditional Jewish bread baker, this is a treasure trove. Read morePublished 16 months ago by JimH
i really liked the individual story's, but i was looking for something that clearly spelled out a recipe and this book leaves you on a hunt while baking. Read morePublished 17 months ago by heidi jo