BREAKING BREADS: Holiday Book List
December 20, 2016
For those who live in NYC, Breads Bakery at Union Square is a hive of activity. People rush in and out with Babkas and loaves, flatbreads and challahs. Now this very successful enterprise has produced a book by Uri Scheft, the master baker behind the outposts in Tel Aviv and NYC.
Out in time for any winter holiday, "Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking" Born to Danish parents in Israel, Scheft meshes two and actually more bread cuisine in the crafting of his tasty accomplishments.
Clearly divided into sections that range from Challha and Babkas to cookies and flatbreads, when you flip the pages to the "Stuffed Bread" section, fruits and vegetables appear.
There's a "Beet Hamantaschen" that uses a pie dough filled with a beet and feta mixutre. Somehow, it looks like something that's both tasty and good for you. Another savory section fills the Focaccias that sport spinach, or onions, zucchini flowers, eggs and peas.
In the crucial bread recipes, there's a whole wheat and flax challah that incorporates red quinoa (a grain and protein source), and flaxseeds along with the whole wheat and all-purpose flour. Ingredients are clearly listed in grams and ounces. Each action is numbered. That helps keeping track of the steps. Most importantly the clear, friendly instructions lead to a marvelous loaf of bread.
If you are hungry, I suggest you do not open this book, because the full-page photographs by Con Poulos will make you drool.
It's always a pleasure to read a cookbook that's actually written for regular cooks who like to experiment and appreciate a casual, warm writing style that makes everyone believe they can be a master baker.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis