Secrets of a Jewish Baker: Authentic Jewish Rye and Other Breads Paperback – Apr 1 1993
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From Library Journal
Greenstein, now retired, owned and ran a bakery on Long Island that produced all sorts of baked goods, from Italian Foccacia to Portuguese Corn Bread as well as Challah, Sour Rye, and other Jewish breads. He begins with a good introduction--including some invaluable Baker's Secrets--to the art of bread baking, followed by dozens of recipes for breads, rolls, and muffins; most of these include three sets of instructions, for making the recipe using a food processor, an electric mixer, or simply by hand. Although less comprehensive than Joe Ortiz's authoritative The Village Baker ( LJ 12/92), Greenstein's book is somewhat more approachable. Recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“An essential purchase for anyone serious about baking bread.” —Newsday“Packed with wisdom and useful tips.”—Baltimore Sun “There are many excellent bread books, but only a few for the serious home baker are truly must-have. This is one of them. George Greenstein's knowledge is in his bones, in his hands, and in his heart. It all comes through in this classic collection of indispensable recipes and master techniques.”—Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker's Apprentice“You could scratch the adjective ‘Jewish' from the title of SECRETS OF A JEWISH BAKER . Although Mr. Greenstein, a professional baker, happens to be Jewish, he has written a fairly comprehensive general bread-baking book.”—Florence Fabricant, New York Times“While other bakers aim to educate readers about the nature of bread, Greenstein's purpose is purely gustatory. He wants us to bake, eat, and enjoy.”—Vegetarian Times
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
There are other books on bread and they certainly have their places, but this is the one you'll come back to time and time again.
The well laid-out organization, the amazing variety of bread recipes, the fairly easy-to-follow recipes, and the short but insightful introduction & suggestions preceding each bread recipe all serve to make this a solid book for home baking.
But what puts this book above the rest are two things:
1). Each recipe is specifically tailored (retailored) to work well in the home kitchen.
2). The "baker's secret" tips added and highlighted in particular recipes make the difference between a good bread and an outstanding one.
Perhaps this isn't a perfect book (ring-bound and laminated, please) and for those who may care, it doesn't cover cakes and the like; however, the baker knows his craft intimately well and laid it all out.
The delicious results are a testament to that.
Greenstein has converted the recipes to be made by hand, food processor or mixer. We have a small mixer and simply halved the quantities. I cannot stress enough the surprise at how effective the results were. There was huge "WOW" factor getting the bread out of the oven.
This book has a good range of recipes for breads and things made with yeast. There is an assortment of ethnic recipes and all the favourites from bagels, foccacia, croissants, to scones and muffins. I particularly enjoyed his annecdotes and favourite toppings. Greenstein has also included 12 programmes for "a morning of baking" which set out how to fit together making a variety of breads in a short time.
On the downside, a separate ingredients index would have been useful. For example, after buying rice flour I then had to look through the whole book to find the relevant recipe. The fact that it is so short on pictures is not really a problem as the results speak for themselves.
Please God, when I die let me be Jewish!
I've tried about 10 of the recipes -- unusual for me, since I often only get 2 or 3 good recipes from a cookbook -- and every one has been great. The bagels taste like real bagels (not the Bruegger's sort), the black-and-white cookies have the right cake-like texture and not the sugar cookie base most non-New Yorkers use, the challah is definitive, and so on.
The book is an absolute must for anyone stuck out in the middle of nowhere (like I was) without a proper bakery. Even in larger metro areas, local variants on "proper" pizza, rye breads, etc. will drive you to insanity if you don't have this book.
If I were to fault the book, it would be on its treatment of sourdough breads -- the recipes rely on added yeast for reliable rising. Still, from croissants and pizza to Kaiser rolls and sour rye, these are fantastic recipes: authentic and able to be made by a relatively inexperienced baker.
Most recent customer reviews
One of the best bread books I used - simple recipes with tips for flavours and textures. Learned more from this book than the expert books I bought.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
You must get this book if you like to make breads. It contains real recipes hardly found anywhere else. If you are from NYC this is doubly true for you. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2004 by theoriginalsubguy
I've been making bread for more than 30 years. This book has taught me more about the art than any I used before it. Read morePublished on July 28 2003 by Susan O'Neill
I'm from Germany and i've been here for 25 years and I realy missed my german bread ,untill I found this book about 7 years ago. I was so thrilled to finally make my own bread. Read morePublished on June 17 2003
I bought this book several years ago and am about to buy it again today from Amazon. Over the years I have used it so much the pages are stuck together with caked flour and the... Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2003
I was a professinal baker for close to 15 years and started by apprenticing on a 19th century coal-fired oven in Newark, NJ. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2002 by RobS in Tampa
I have been baking bread for almost 10 years. This book
is by far the very best! Very clear and easy to follow
recipes! I love this book!
After purchasing and searching thousands of cookbooks over 30 years, this is the one for the best N.Y Rye Bread recipes, as well as bagels, bialys, pletzel, etc.. Read morePublished on June 20 2001 by CRAIGML