Breaking Breads Book Review

Breaking Breads Book Review
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Title: Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking--Flatbreads, Stuffed Breads, Challahs, Cookies, and the Legendary Chocolate Babka
Author: Uri Scheft
Published: October 18, 2016, Artisan
No. of Pages: 352
Cover Price: $35.00 Hardcover, $9.99 Kindle



Israeli food has become very trendy; there are dozens of new Israeli cookbooks being released and some of them have ended up on bestseller lists. Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking--Flatbreads, Stuffed Breads, Challahs, Cookies, and the Legendary Chocolate Babka focuses on the baked goods of Israel, and has dozens of excellent, unique recipes for everything from appetizer flatbreads, to sweet holiday breads, as well as several varieties of Challah. There are also many different kinds of bureka, hamantaschen, babka, and foccacia.

Each recipe has an explanation at the beginning of how the author obtained the recipe or how the recipe came about – there is historical information here that is fascinating. Each recipe is laid out in an easy-to-understand manner, with instructions that can easily be followed by both novice and advanced bakers. The Whole Wheat and Flax Challah was quite easy to make and is already being requested again by my family. Hamantaschen, a must-serve at Purim, is always a treat, and Scheft’s versions turn out perfectly. He even includes a savory Hamantaschen with a luscious filling. The Turkish pizza, called Lachmajun, which is usually topped with a lamb mixture is delicious with roasted eggplant and scallions. There is a no-knead foccacia dough, and several recipes for sweet and savory babka, the pièce de résistance being an incredible Famous Chocolate Babka which has become a bestseller at one of the author’s bakeries. This babka is not only spread with Nutella (and who doesn’t love that), but it also has high quality chocolate in the many layers. It is worth buying the book for that recipe alone, but there are so many others, I’ll be baking Israeli specialties for months to come. Shakshuka has been especially trendy across America lately, and the Potato Shakshuka Focaccia is incredible. The Za’atar twists were also very easy and very good.

I admit that I don’t always have time to spend making dough the long way, and find that I cheat on occasion by taking advantage of the dough cycle in my automatic bread machine. Serious bakers will, of course, shun this practice, but I found it a nice timesaver and it gives me the opportunity to bake even more recipes from this excellent cookbook.

Bakers of all kinds will appreciate the beautiful pictures, step-by-step instructions, and the variety of delicious baked goods.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this cookbook.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking--Flatbreads, Stuffed Breads, Challahs, Cookies, and the Legendary Chocolate Babka




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