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Reviewed by Jenna Arthur

I love reading stories from the heart. Heritage is an important part of cooking. Most cooks can tell you a good ‘ole down home story that relates in some way to every dish they prepare. Remember when Aunt Sally spilled jelly all over herself? Or maybe Uncle Johnny ate the entire cake when no one was looking.

Such stories start the fun and heart warming recipe book, Inside the Jewish Bakery. Written by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg, Inside the Jewish Bakery gives a brief history of the world of Judaism and what made them who they are now. It tells of poor families struggling to survive and the family recipes that sustained them. Back in the olden days Jews had to survive on little to nothing, certainly not having such luxuries as we have today. Instead, they relied on a small amount of staples to bake their cakes, rolls and breads.

From poor man’s bread to delicious rolls and cakes, Inside the Jewish Bakery is a tantalizing tale of breads, braids, history and the love that goes into every stir, every fold of each recipe. Starting with an egg less Challah bread, I kneaded, mixed, waited and braided my way to a delicious, savory bread that went perfectly with a poor man’s lentil stew I had prepared as well as the savory rosemary white bean soup I made the following night.

Rich and soft Challah bread is a staple for any baker, Jewish or not. I decided to further my knowledge of Challah by delving into the sweeter side of this bread. The recipes are interesting and extremely simple to follow. It allows you to enjoy every moment without worrying about what you are doing wrong. Into the oven my sweet bread went, coming out to a tornado of powdered sugar confection. I must say my partner enjoyed this the best, even better then the tangy orange chiffon cake I attempted next. Needless to say, my house was filled with such great aroma that it could be smelled from all the surrounding homes.

Inside the Jewish Bakery, in my opinion, is one of the best baking books I have had the pleasure of using. Recipes are easy to understand and provide accurate taste and directional profiles.With this cookbook, the authors provide the reader with a sampling of recipes from centuries of home cooks all over the Jewish provinces.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jenna lives in the bustling city of Pittsburgh, PA with her wife, her chihuahua Penny, her retriever Ella and her two beautiful cats. Along with her passion for reading and the literary world, she is also an artist, writer, environmental activist, creative coordinator and aspiring culinary genius. She believes there is nothing better to her then a good book, and lives one cover to the next.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Camino Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.