Book Review – A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets by George Greenstein, Elaine Greenstein, Julia Greenstein and Isaac Bleicher.

A Jewish bakers pastry secrets

5 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Ten Speed Press for allowing me to read an ARC of this book for an open and honest review.

A Jewish Baker’s pastry secrets is not just a cook book. It is a wonderful and insightful look into a very clever family’s baking secrets! I loved this book and was very touched by the story behind it. You could almost feel the passion in the recipes from how they are worded.

It is an old style cook book, so no glossy pictures showing you the way. Just the recipes. But if you’re new to the kitchen, don’t let this put you off as the book begins with giving you all the basics in great detail. I do admit to finding this part a little dull myself, as I’ve got a few decades of baking experience. But when I looked at it as a beginners guide, I found the details, pace and tone of this introduction section excellent. I, personally, don’t feel an inexperienced baker would be put off by this book with such a loving helping hand to start them off.

As for the recipes! How they brought back memories of good food and family times. I’m half German, I live in a strongly German influenced part of Australia and my mixed culture shares a lot of the recipes given in this gorgeous book.

I really liked the old style layout used throughout this book, as I like the older cookery books (I have some centenary ones in my collection). I feel it just adds to the family connection.

It really is more than just a cook book. I know I’ve already said that, but I feel I need to repeat it. Yes I know it is a book full of some simple, appetising and easy to follow recipes to help you on your way to better baking… but it really is more than that. The stories that come with some of them, the reasoning behind the variations… I don’t know what it was about this book, but I really clicked with it and have told my husband to add it to the pile of books I want for Christmas. And I RARELY ask for new cook books!

Would I recommend this book to others. Yes! Actually, I already have done. The ‘old style’ layout and traditional recipes are amazing, so easy to follow and, even if they’re not perfect first time… that’s all good. It’s part of the whole baking spirit this book seems to encompass. I’ve given a few of my friends a head’s up to this book and hope it will be available to buy in Australia soon!

Would I buy this book for myself? Yes! I very BIG yes. In other reviews I’ve often commented about how I have too many books and so am picky as to what I add. This book would be (and hopefully soon will be) welcome in my home. I want to work on my puff pastry (from this book) a bit more as I’ve always wanted to make my own bear claw. As for the Stolen with triple butter for Christmas… yes please!

If you are after a simply gorgeous, traditional style book that will indeed pass on some helpful secrets about pastry baking – buy this book. I don’t give out 5 out of 5 stars easily, but this one has simply blown me away. Reading it just urges you to take it into the kitchen, open a page and have a go what recipe appears.

I highly recommend this book for bakers of all levels as it will give you a helping hand if you’re new to it all… as well as a friendly nudge in the right direction if you’re an ‘old hand’ like me.

Okay, okay, I will admit here and now that not all of the recipes are going to be simple and easy. You will need to have a love, passion and desire to give them a go, work through them and try again if they fail. This isn’t one of those 5 minute wonder books… this is REAL baking! You have to really want to make these things to truly get this book. Well, that’s how I feel anyhow.

Well worth a look. Great book.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO


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