The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge -- Semester One (December, 2011 - March 2012)

Urchina's picture
Urchina

The Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge -- Semester One (December, 2011 - March 2012)

Hi, everyone! It's almost time to start the Inside the Jewish Bakery challenge! 

We'll be baking nearly every recipe found in the wonderful "Inside the Jewish Bakery" by TFLs very own Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg. Not only will we get a chance to bake all the recipes -- we'll get to eat all the recipes! I can't wait!

It turns out that this fabulous book has enough recipes to keep us occupied for over a year. So, I've broken it up into 6 "semesters" of approximately 15 recipes each, spanning about three and a half months each time. Semester One begins on December 3 of this year, with the following lineup:

Item

  

Page number

Date assigned

Posts allowed until this date

1-2-3 dough (Use in Mohn Bars, p. 234)

 

213 / 234

 

12/3/2011

 

12/10/2011

Lace Cookies (Florentines)

231

 

12/10/2011

 

12/17/2011

Honey Whole Wheat Challah

31

 

12/17/2011

 

12/24/2011

Almond Buns

 

152

 

12/24/2011

 

12/31/2011

Honey Cake

 

175

 

12/31/2011

 

1/7/2012

Polish Potato Bread

 

86

 

1/7/2012

 

1/14/2012

Closed pockets

 

143

 

1/14/2012

 

1/21/2012

Onion Rolls

 

114

 

1/21/2012

 

1/28/2012

Mandelbroyt

 

241

 

1/28/2012

 

2/4/2012

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

181

 

2/4/2012

 

2/11/2012

Black and white cookies

221

 

2/11/2012

 

2/18/2012

100 percent cream cheese cheesecake

203

 

2/18/2012

 

2/25/2012

Sweet Egg Dough (for buns)

109

 

2/25/2012

 

3/3/2012

Bialys

  

123

 

3/3/2012

 

3/10/2012

Loaf Babka

 

164

 

3/10/2012

 

3/17/2012

 

I'll start off each item with a post or or near the assignment date for that item, and then the comments section of this blog will be open for anyone to post their experience. To keep us all more or less together, I ask that if you're going to participate, that you post your comments by no later than seven days after the original assignment date (which happens to be, also, the first day of the next item on the list). 

There has been tremendous interest in this challenge, which is so exciting. I've decided to not keep close track of who is signed up or not -- you all know who you are, chime in as you please. If you miss a week -- or two, or three -- join back in. All are welcome. I'm hoping that the semester format will help the task seem more manageable -- there's a lot of ground to cover in this book! 

I'm looking forward to the adventure with you all. And until then -- Happy Thanksgiving!

Kendra

Comments

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Kendra, I might have to miss the first ones, though, being in Mexico.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too,

Karin

Urchina's picture
Urchina

Karin, we'll miss your expert advice and will look forward to you joining us when you return from Mexico. Have a lovely trip!

Kendra

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Maybe I'll get a little pre-work in.

Karin

boswin's picture
boswin

Hi Kendra-

I just ordered my copy of the book on amazon and it's set to arrive on 12/2.  I'm a little nervous about the cooking challenge.  I've never done anything like this before......  I was wondering if you might be able to pm me with the recipe and/or ingredients list so that I can have them handy since the challenge begins the next day??  I'd like to be prepared rather than scramble, if possible.

Thank You!

Debbie

 

littlelisa's picture
littlelisa

Hi Debbie

Did someone pm you the recipe? If so please could you email it to me too? I'm in the same boat - ordered my book, but it'll probably only arrive in January as I'm in S. Africa!

Cheers

Lisa

Cakestand's picture
Cakestand

Would someone help me with the pronunciation of "Hamantashen"?  Thanks.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

hah-muhn-tahsh-en

``````````````````````````````````````````
Ha-moon-tosh

Ha  (as in "ha ha")

Moon

Tosh as it "toss" or "ross"

I believe the "en" on the end is the plural form

That would make it   Ha-moon-tosh-en

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

+ taschen (pockets)        High muh tah shen    With accent on the first syllable and tapering off.

Umm... before anyone prints this schedule out, should there be a few corrections in dates and spelling?   (Something strange going on in February.)

Urchina's picture
Urchina

Mini, you're right -- I accidentally posted "2011" insteadof "2012" for a couple of the February dates. The days of the month are correct (that is, the 4th, the 11th, the 18th and the 25th of February, 2012 all fall on Saturdays). 

You mentioned a spelling error -- can you point me in the right direction? 

Thanks!

 

Kendra

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Thanks

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Right. The singular is Tashe (German: Tasche), meaning "pocket", and the plural Tashen (German: Taschen).

Karin

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Bun dough recipe has order of  egg/water and flour additions reversed.  See the Errata link at http://bit.ly/vnPEbf

Good luck in the challenge! We'll be watching with great interest.

Stan & Norm

PS. Since the 1-2-3 Dough has many applications, Kendra, you should probably choose a particular pastry using that dough, say Hamantashen, rugelach, Mohn bars, etc.

Urchina's picture
Urchina

Thanks, Stan. 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

For those who are filing the erratum pages in their book ......

I've been editing the actual recipes in the book, then gluing the erratum in the back of the book (an addendum if you like) for future reference.  I'm gonna stop gluing the addendum pages in until we've gotten all the way through the book.  I want the book to last a long time and, if only slightly, removing glued in pages damages the book.

Urchina's picture
Urchina

Large Post-Its work well for errata. I have the ones that are about 5x7 and they're great for notes, etc. Stick right to the page, come off cleanly. Easy to update. 

Downside: You have to write it by hand. Haven't figured out how to run them through a printer yet. Unless you print the page, glue it to a Post-It, then stick it in....

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Try sticking the "post-it" to one sheet and loading it into the printer so the "post-it" sees the print head as the coupled sheets run through the printer.  If you are in doubt of how to situate your "post-it" on the regular 81/2 x 11 sheet, just print your information out on the regular paper (using borders that don't exceed the width/length of your "post-it") and cover the text with your "post-it" before running the coupled sheets back through the printer.

 

Elagins's picture
Elagins

You can also get labels in a variety of sizes on 8.5"x11" sheets, along with the appropriate templates. This is a more expensive solution, but if  you're going the sticker route, it might make sense.

I like the idea someone put up about marking corrected recipes with an asterisk and then referring back to the printout.

I just wish none of this was necessary. I feel really bad about it ... but if you guys let us know as you encounter mistakes, we'll make sure theyre all corrected in subsequent printings/editions.

Stan

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Please!

Karin

Urchina's picture
Urchina

Karin, since majority rules, Mohn bars it is! ;)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

gets the grease!

Thanks, Kendra, I love poppy seeds.

Karin

 

Cakestand's picture
Cakestand

Thanks to flournwater and Mini Oven for pronunciation help.   I was excited to see the schedule posted.  Ready to get started. 

bill bush's picture
bill bush

I'll be checking out everybody's progress through the challenge.  Your photographs will be a real pleasure.  My baking is reduced because I've had to diet, and will power is no challenge to a nice, available loaf on the counter!  Fortunately, vicarious eating is truly calorie-free.  I learn lots from looking and reading, so this will probably push me to sin occasionally and do a recipe, but only rarely, of necessity, and infrequently enough to  be harmless.  Let the baking begin!

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

It is my experience that will power is never a problem. It's won't power that lets me down.  :shrug:

cheers,

gary

flournwater's picture
flournwater

bill bush,

Bake it and donate it to a local elder care center.  They'll love it, giving will make you happy and you'll get the enjoyment of working with the recipes.  That's a win/win/win  

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

This idea is great!  I don't want hubby eating a lot of the desserts since he finally started cutting back on his sweet tooth. His diabetes got a little out of control.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I do a lot of cooking for special needs diets.  Many of the things in the book appear to me to be adaptable to artifical sweeteners (my wife is diabetic) and I use Splenda (or Great Value, etc.) in much of my baking.  Her A1c routinely lives in the 6 zone ...

Note:

Folks, please, let's not make this thread a critique on the pros and cons of artificial sweeteners.  If  you don't believe in them, suit yourself.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

I, also, use artificial sweetners, but hubby doesn't understand just because I make something it doesn't mean he needs to eat it every day until it is all gone.  I do make things, and try to portion them out and freeze them, but his idea is to eat it every day, and even though I use an artificial sweetner, it doesn't help that he doesn't control himself.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I understand.  The difference in our house is that I have the most highly self disciplined wife on this earth.  She can look at a box of donuts and never surrender to the temptation.  I'm the undisciplined one.  If it's edible, I stuff it in.  Anything from broccoli to devils food cake.  No wonder I have a weight problem (at the present time under control) and it's a good thing I'm not diabetic.  I am so eager to start with this challenge I think I'll play with it a bit today.  That'll give me time to fix my mistakes so the report I post may be an improvement over what I come up with initially.

dawkins's picture
dawkins

I'm a mere amateur, but really looking forward to this. My book should arrive tomorrow - had to Amazon it as I couldn't track down a UK distributor. Hopefully my newbie status will be gradually left behind as we work our way through!

Elagins's picture
Elagins

hi all,

Some more tweaks, posted at http://bit.ly/vnPEbf

Thanks and keep that feedback coming!

Stan

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

It would be great if we could have an idea of where folks live when we share some of these posts... I am sure over the time of the challenge we will get to know each other quite well. I am curious as to the effects of climates and altitudes on the results of some of the recipes... Can't wait to get started!!! Thanks to Stan for all the clarifications and good words. ;-)

bonnibakes's picture
bonnibakes

The first recipe we're making uses the 1-2-3 dough. It calls for "pastry flour". The only pastry flour I can find around here (SW coast of FL) is Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. Is that acceptable, or is there a formula to mix cake flour & bread flour to achieve the stated description of 9.5% protein (p.18).

Also, I've started a blog so that patrons of my recently closed bakery/cafe can follow us as we bake through the book. I grew up in Brooklyn in the 50's and many folks I know here are former New Yorkers who miss those classic baked goods. You can find it at bonnibakesbrooklyn.blogspot.com

Bonni

Elagins's picture
Elagins

AP flour is around 10.5% protein and store-bought cake flour (SwansDown) is around 8.5%, so a 50-50 mix should put you in the pastry range. Since you're in FL, you also have access to White  Lily AP, which is probably in the 9.5% range.

Stan

dawkins's picture
dawkins

As we're aiming for a 9.5% protein, would I be right in thinking that Plain Flour is a suitable substitute here in the UK? The one I have (Sainsburys) is 9.4g protein per 100g. Is it just the protein content we need to match up?

Elagins's picture
Elagins

In a perfect world, I'd also look for ash content of around 0.45% or less, but for pastry, the protein content is the key considerastion.

Stan

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Urchina, 

Once we have created our masterpiece =)  ... do we use this post avenue to let you and everyone know the results? Is there a user friendly way to send pictures of our finished product?  Please advise. Thank you.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Check your forum mail box for info. on easy way to post images for the challenge.

Cakestand's picture
Cakestand

What do  you click on to find the forum mailbox?

loydb's picture
loydb

Click on the 'messages' link directly beneath your login name on the left.

 

dawkins's picture
dawkins

Hi all, I just wanted to check the recipe for the filling, please: is it correct that it's only 1/2 cup of water to start with? I'm just wondering about how to bring that to the boil with all those poppy seeds, as it doesn't seem wet enough. I know you add water as you go, but is that enough to begin with? Many thanks!

Elagins's picture
Elagins

make sure the water is boiling. the idea is to keep the filling fairly dry rather than wet and runny.

Stan

hanseata's picture
hanseata

105 g of water is enough. Works just fine.

I made my Mohn Bars already because we are leaving for Mexico.

Karin

flournwater's picture
flournwater

So, I realize that it's not yet December 3, but will the results be a secret or will we see them before you escape across the border?

dawkins's picture
dawkins

Great - thanks very much for the tip. :o)

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

yes, 1/2 water seems correct. add as you go as stan suggested AND as it is stated in the recipe.

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

Can't wait!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

We almost split over the Mohn Bars (just kidding). I love poppy seed pastry, and I liked the filling. My husband detected a hint of bitterness in it (I didn't), but praised the dough and the streusel. My 92- year old mother suggested the poppy seed might have been a bit old, or I might not have ground it long enough. She also mentioned that she always found the dessert to be the best part of a meal, and sighed that she was a long flight away in Hamburg....

Anyway, I happily ate half of the bars over the next three days.  Since I used a mix of white pastry flour (270 g) and whole wheat pastry flour (70 g), I even had a better conscience, sneaking out in the porch to get yet another one.

One observation: Using a whisk for creaming butter and sugar for the dough did not work for my Cuisinart, the mass just stuck to the wires (and were a pain to scrape out). I had use switch to the paddle right away.

All in all, a nice dessert - and I told my husband not to be such a whiner!

Karin

 

 

 

 

dawkins's picture
dawkins

I had a lot of fun making these. My first batch of poppy filling was totally spoiled, as the poppy seeds I'd bought turned out to be off: that'll teach me to buy seeds from Sainsburys (I've had that happen before) and I should have trusted my gut feeling that they smelled a bit odd. Anyhow, a second batch bought elsewhere worked a treat. The blender/food processor/suribachi couldn't touch them, but luckily my bargain manual grain grinder made short work of 'em. 

I had to bake them in a roasting tin as I didn't have a big enough tin, but that worked fine with a lining of greaseproof paper, which I used to measure how big to roll out the dough. Other than that, I followed the instructions and all went well! 

As for taste, we both liked them - I think they have a strong shortbread-y taste with a touch of nuttiness from the poppyseeds. They really tasted 'foreign' in a Continental kind of way, definitely not like a British bar or biscuit - but that was no bad thing! 

loydb's picture
loydb

I love that plate! I will need to deal with pictures and the like tomorrow, but I agree that they taste "foreign" in a good way. It's not a flavor combination that I've had before -- which is one of the reasons I'm doing this challenge! 

 

dawkins's picture
dawkins

It's an old charity shop find, German I think, and has seen better days, but can't be beaten as a backdrop! Hear hear about the challenge too: new tastes are always exciting.

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