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A Taste of Challah Hardcover – May 15, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tamar Ansh is an author, recipe developer, and food columnist, with more than 15 years of creative baking and cooking experience. Her food articles have appeared in major Jewish publications around the globe. This is her fourth book
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Philipp Feldheim; 1st edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583309225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583309223
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Erik Sherman on June 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to reviewing this book for my food blog. The bread is traditionally served on Shabbat (Sabbath) meals by Ashkenazi Jews. It generally includes eggs and, at least in the U.S., comes in a braided loaf form for most of the year, and a round turban shape for the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

There was much good I found in the book. The author is a religious Jew and offers a lot of information on the theological and culture links. There is also more information than I've ever seen in one place on how to handle and shape the dough, including variations like a braided round challah that I've never seen. We'll get to some more good points in a moment.

But calling the volume A Comprehensive Guide to Challah and Bread Baking is overblown and inaccurate. For example, the only recipe for "regular" challah dough is called Always Perfect No-Egg Challah. The title alone suggests what anyone familiar with the bread knows: eggs are a normal component. I wondered whether strict kosher food laws might consider eggs as meat, and so something that could not be served with dairy, but a little research showed that eggs are considered pareve - neither meat nor dairy. Nothing wrong with variations, but I don't see how a book can be "comprehensive" without a version of the most traditional approach.

The basic recipe also called for 16 to 17 cups of flour for what it said were 6 large loaves. Three cups of flour are about a pound, adding the weight of oil, sugar, and sugar, I'm guessing that the "large" loaves would be about a pound each - not so large from my view.
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Format: Hardcover
While this book might be less intimidating for beginngers than Maggie Glezer's Blessing of Bread, in most respects it is far inferior to Glezer's work. There are few recipes for Challah (as a previous review noted the one for plain Challah does not contain eggs) and the recipes for the other breads are lackluster. If you want a book that examines Jewish baking through the ages and across many different regions, Glezer's book is definitely the better choice. If your goal is a basic overview of Challah and a few basic recipes, Ansh's book will suffice.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an unusual book. It is, as other reviews have noted, far more a book about challah--spiritual components, religious components--than it is a cookbook. The title is thus a tad misleading. It also, as has also been noted, lacks a basic recipe for challah with eggs, which is like doing a French bread cookbook without a baguette recipe.

However, I have to admit that the recipes themselves are excellent. I've made the za'atar bread twice, and it disappears rapidly because it is so tasty. The basic no-egg challah recipe is fine, and all of the others I've tried are also very good.

The book is expensive, and unless you're really excited about the non-recipe content or, like me, you collect bread cookbooks, I am not sure that I'd recommend it, but there are certainly some useful things here.
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Format: Hardcover
A Taste of Challah: A Comprehensive Guide to Challah and Bread Baking by Tamar Ansh is truly one of the most comprehensive books, complete with clear and detailed instructions and over 350 beautiful full-color step-by-step photographs

It is more than just another bread-making recipe book. I am an experienced bread maker and have taught classes in breadmaking for many years. Nevertheless, I learned so much from Tamar's book. Whether you're a novice to challah/bread-baking or an old hand at it, this is a book you'll definitely want to own.

In addition to recipes and instructions for everything you ever wanted to know about making and braiding challah, there are wonderful chapters on large challah shapes, small challah shapes, health challah and breads, specialty breads, Middle Eastern breads and accompaniments, and fun and different ideas. Recipes include, in addition to the traditional challahs, Zatar challah, Pecan challah, Yemenite Saluf, flower-shaped challah rolls, kubana, onion croissants and dessert breads and rolls.
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Format: Hardcover
this beautifully written book has changed my sabbath table forever. I tried the recipe and tips this week and got amazing results. My challas looked absolutely stunning, nicer than the bakery and my family tells me they were delicious!!! I have until now made tasty but funny looking challa but this easy to read and implement guide has transformed my challa baking both spiritually and physically. its a must have!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
She borrowed from a friend to start making her own challa.
A couple of weeks afterwards she really made an effort and managed to bake an amazing challa for our Shabbos.
Thanks for her persistence and, in my opinion, also this book.

Really well edited, with a lot of images and rich explanations. The only problem is the metric system, which, for us in Brazil is totally different.
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