"jewish" news and stories
Apparently, breads with holes have been around for centuries. Italians had hard crackers called taralli, Romans had something called buccellatum and the Chinese something called girde. Egyptians, Nathan adds, had their own - you can see the doughnut-shaped rolls in hieroglyphic displays at the Louvre. Polish Jews may have invented the modern bagel, when the Polish king first allowed Jews to begin commercial baking (they had previously been banned) and a baker made a round bread in his honor. Bagels found their way to the Lower East Side by the 19th century, and they burst into the non-Jewish American consciousness in the 1950s, when Lender's frozen bagels were invented. Today you can get them in Dunkin' Donuts stores from Albuquerque to Bangor.
MSNBC has an interesting story about observant Jewish runners and their personal decisions about whether or not to keep kosher during the marathon. One Boston-area rabbi, who describes running as a "spiritual quest," plans to fuel up on potatoes and matzoh. Another runner plans to Passover rules with dry oatmeal on the morning of the race,
Dry oatmeal? I'd rather have matzoh brei, a childhood Passover specialty of eggy fried matzoh, which can be served savory with cheese and veggies, or sweet (my favorite) with maple syrup.
Filed under: Newspapers
Photo: Nicole Weston
Challah is a popular type of bread, lighter than brioche but still soft and very rich, so it is excellent on its own, when toasted or in a variety of dishes, such as french toast or bread pudding. It is a traditionally Jewish bread, though it has wide-ranging popularity now, and is a main feature of many Jewish dinners, especially around the holidays. The bread is usually made with lots of eggs and vegetable oil, rather than butter, because of the kosher laws against mixing meat and dairy. This Chocolate & Apricot Challah, made by Ariela of Baking and Books, uses eggs and oil, but is definitely not the ideal challah for serving with dinner. The bread is generously dotted with pieces of chopped up dried apricot and chunks of semisweet chocolate. She recommends serving it with tea or coffee as part of breakfast or a mid-morning snack, but with the delicious add-ins already in place, a chopped up loaf of this bread would probably make a wonderful bread pudding.