The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

inside the jewish bakery

loydb's picture

It's week 8 in the Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge - Semester 1. This week is Onion Rolls. Sadly, I'll be sitting out the next few dessert-heavy weeks.

Once my confusion over how to deal with the onion mix was clarified (thanks all) this proved to be an easy, fast bake (in terms of actual prep). My notes follow:

  • I used 1 oz of the onion water and 9 oz plain water
  • My egg was almost a full ounce heavier than called for
  • I used 100% milled wheat, a 50/50 mix of hard red and hard white.
  • My cooking time ended up being around 25 minutes.

These are tasty and the outside is crunchy. They aren't overpoweringly onion-y, which I'd been concerned about. I think the flavor would be improved if I make a soaker with the whole wheat next time and let it sit in the fridge overnight prior to adding yeast. I'll make them again for sure.

Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 6: Polish Potato Bread (1/7/12 - 1/14/12)

January 8, 2012 - 6:01pm -- Urchina

After the excesses of the  holidays, something warm and comforting and thrifty like soup and bread sounds like a great dinner. We've had soup probably four times since the New Year already, and have a wonderful lineup for the next couple of weeks, as all of my cooking magazines seem to have taken soup as their mantra for January and February issues.

Ok, back to the bread. This just looked good. And I promise, promise, promise that I am going to improve upon my (as-of-now) deplorable batting average and actually post on this one!

Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 5: Honey Cake (12/31/11 - 1/7/12)

January 1, 2012 - 10:41pm -- Urchina

Happy New Year, everyone!

I thought we could start the New Year off sweetly with this rye-based Honey Cake. I've never made anything like this before, so will be very interested to see what it's like and to hear what experiences others have. I have  a secret, hidden hope that it's like the honey cake with glorious chunks of crunch sugar in it that is sold commercially in Belgium, where I've spent some time. Regardless, I'm sure it will be delicious!

Also -- sorry for the tardiness in getting this forum post up. Thanks for your patience!

ehanner's picture

ITJB- A Home Bakers Review

December 29, 2011 - 6:38pm -- ehanner

My plan to do a book review as a baker of “Inside The Jewish Baker”, has taken a turn. After reading the thread titled “Join the ITJB Challenge” and seeing the activity and enthusiasm generated by the book,  I’m disappointed by what I will have to say.  It is obvious that there is much interest in replicating  the breads of old. Now that I have had a chance to look more carefully, I’m shocked that this book is loaded with so many errors. Point taken that every technical book has errors. This one certainly fits nicely at the top of that list.

mpiasec's picture

onion rolls

December 15, 2011 - 2:03pm -- mpiasec

Just bought Inside the Jewish Bakery, love it......Made Norms onion rolls and they came out great, just like in Jersey.....One question, how do I keep them fresh for more then one day.  Any tricks to keeping them?  Thanks for the reply.....

Elagins's picture

Great review of ITJB and a plug for TFL

December 14, 2011 - 2:28pm -- Elagins

Thought you folks might be interested in this review of ITJB from The Jewish Week.

Not only does it talk about the book, but also about TFL and the role it played in bringing Norm and me together, the role of TFLers in the testing .... even the Challenge that's going on now.

As I've said so many times before, without TFL, none of it would have been possible! Thanks so much.


varda's picture

Not quite two years ago, when I joined TFL, I had a simple goal:   I wanted to figure out how to make Tzitzel bread which was a favorite when I was growing up in St. Louis Missouri.   I had recently started baking bread, and I figured how hard could it be.   When I searched the web, I found nothing for Tzitzel, but plenty of recipes for rye bread - many of which I tried.  Nothing was even remotely like what I remembered, and given my level of expertise, it was pretty poor eating.   I joined this site where I had been lurking for awhile and asked the question.   Again, no one seemed to have heard of it.   I did get a lot of great advice for baking Jewish Rye, and settled on "Jewish Corn Bread" which was a combo of some points in a comment by Norm (nbicomputers) on a David Snyder post, and one of Greenstein's recipes from Secrets of a Jewish Baker.   This kicked up the quality several notches, but still wasn't right.   When I started my quest, I had emailed the retiring owner of the St. Louis bakery, Pratzels,  where my father had bought Tzitzel.   Early on she told me that it was "just" a Jewish Rye wrapped in corn meal.   Later, when I knew more, I asked her again, and she told me that it was made with medium rye and bread flour.   It wasn't until a few weeks ago, when I got my latest shipment of King Arthur flours, that I had some medium rye to play with.   At the same time, admiring a gorgeous Challah posted by dawkins, I gave up my resistance  and bought a copy of Inside the Jewish Bakery.   And there was the answer - I was off base using the corn bread recipe.   I should have been baking Jewish Deli Rye.   On page 74 the authors include a paragraph saying that to make Tzitzel one should modify their Jewish Deli Rye thus and so, and voila - Tzitzel.   And so ---- Tzitzel.   Thank you Norm and Stan!  


dmsnyder's picture

Pecan Roll

Cheese Pocket 

Both these pastries were made with the Babka Dough from Inside the Jewish Bakery by Stanley Ginsburg and Norman Berg.

My wife and I have fond memories of the Pecan Rolls from the long-closed Fantasia Bakery in San Francisco. Theirs were made with danish pastry and were coated with a sticky bun type glaze. The ones I made today were simpler and less sweet. After mixing and fermenting the dough, I divided it, wrapped it in plasti-crap and refrigerated it overnight. The next day, I rolled out a 16 oz portion, coated it with KAF Cinnamon Smear, sprinkled on toasted pecan pieces, rolled up the dough and divided it into 12 portions. These were placed in a buttered muffin tin, egg washed and proofed. Before baking, I put pecan halves on the tops and egg washed again. The rolls were not glazed after baking.

Pecan Rolls, proofing in a Brod & Taylor Proofing Box

Ready to bake

Baked and Cooling

Pecan Roll Crumb

When I was much younger, my favorite pastry from Karsh's Bakery was their Cheese Pockets. The ones I made today used the same dough as the Pecan Rolls and the Cheese Filling from ITJB. The dough was rolled out and divided into 4 inch squares. About 2 tablespoons of the cheese filling was put in the middle of each square, and the corners were folded in, overlapping to completely cover the filling. The seams were pinched closed. The pieces were egg washed before proofing and, again, after being sprinkled with slivered almonds before baking. A streusel topping would have been more traditional.

Thesse are not the same as Karsh's. The pastry is much more flavorful, and the cheese filling is smoother and richer. In my wife's words, a more "elegant" version. She liked the pastry more and the filling less. For me, it's still "a work in progress." Meanwhile, I will certainly enjoy eating this iteration.

Cheese Pockets

A Sampler


Submitted to YeastSpotting


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