The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Inside the Jewish Bakery Baking Challenge: Round 2!

Urchina's picture

Inside the Jewish Bakery Baking Challenge: Round 2!

Ding! Ding! 


Calling all bold bakers for the second round of the Inside the Jewish Bakery baking challenge! To sum up: We're attempting to bake every recipe in Stan Ginsberg and Norm Berg's book "Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking." This is a great book written by two of our own Fresh Loafers, and many of us had the honor of being test bakers while the book was being written. Now that it's out, we are trying out all the recipes. Hooray!

For this semester's lineup, I alternated savory and sweet recipes, and also tried to stagger less-challenging recipes with more-challenging ones. Bagels make their first appearance in this semester, as does rye bread. This semester runs through the end of July; we'll take a recess in August and come back in September for Round 3. 

This is an easygoing challenge -- jump in when you want, sit out when you want, work at your own speed when you want. All I ask is that you please not post on a recipe until the week that it's assigned, so that we all move more-or-less together through the process. Posting late is perfectly fine -- if it took you a while to get to something and you want to share what you learned a week or two or three (or six....) later, by all means, do so!


Here is the schedule: 


Semester Two Lineup  page Date assignedPost until
Sour Cream Spritz Cookies 230 4/28/2012 5/5/2012
Bakery Challah  26 5/5/2012 5/12/2012
Passover coconut macaroons 245 5/12/2012 5/19/2012
Mild Deli Rye  76 5/19/2012 5/26/2012
125 percent yellow cake 188 5/26/2012 6/2/2012
Vienna Bread  89 6/2/2012 6/9/2012
Sandwich Cookies  226 6/9/2012 6/16/2012
The Classic NY Water Bagel 99 6/16/2012 6/23/2012
Mini-Schnecken  218 6/23/2012 6/30/2012
Medium Enriched Dough 110 6/30/2012 7/7/2012
Elephant Ears  145 7/7/2012 7/14/2012
Salt Sticks and Poppy Horns 116 7/14/2012 7/21/2012
Wonder Cake  194 7/21/2012 7/28/2012

I'm excited to see what we come up with this semester. Bake on!



gmagmabaking2's picture

for those who are just joining the challenge with this round... Go to and click on the book... and then check out the ERRATA for the recipes on pages 76, 99, 194, and 218; before baking... there are minor changes... except page 194 - would be obvious, I would think... ENJOY... the help is here and the errata is there for our use... What fun this semester will be!  Happy Baking.

joyfulbaker's picture

Thank you, Kendra, for setting up the schedule, and a great one it is.  Some of these recipes have already become "regulars" in our household, and some will be first-time attempts.  Looking forward to ITJB summer school!  Just one thing to note:  For the week of 6/30, medium enriched dough:  The dough is lovely in and of itself, but when it turns into onion pockets or onion rolls, it's divine.  Just be sure to save the soaking water (if using onion filling #1) to use in the dough.  Makes a big difference.  (Thanks to Eric for the tip.)


Urchina's picture

Joyful --


I admit, I see the light / rich / medium doughs as simply variations on a theme of onion rolls. Those things are ridiculously good!


joyfulbaker's picture

I agree with you about how good those onion rolls are, especially when the onion soaking water is included.  I haven't made the rich or light versions, but I love that silky medium enriched dough.  I think the doughs can also be used for Kaiser rolls.  Now those are a bit complicated to shape.  What a challenge that would be!