> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Cookbook Review: A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets by George Greenstein
Friday, November 20, 2015

Cookbook Review: A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets by George Greenstein

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Blogging for Books, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

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This follow-up to the author's James Beard award-winning Secrets of a Jewish Bakeris a charming collection of European-style bakery classics, such as coffee cake and strudel. 

George Greenstein had a gift for teaching home bakers to think, work, and bake like the pros with his evocative and tactile descriptions of baking. In A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets, he crafts master dough recipes for Jewish holiday baking and European classics, creating a comprehensive set of building blocks for both beginners and baking enthusiasts. Greenstein’s expert guidance for making doughs like bundt, babka, strudel, gugelhopf, stollen, pressburger, puff pastry, and Danish create a jumping-off point for more than 200 variations of classic pastries, including napoleons, coffee cakes, and sweet buns. The book also offers an in-depth guide to ingredients and equipment, including both professional and home ovens, as well as basic recipes for fillings, icings, and glazes. With Greenstein’s steady guidance and familiar voice, home bakers and professionals alike will be encouraged to turn out flawless pastry creations for any occasion.

This cookbook is a memorial book to Greenstein, from his children and grandson, who finished his manuscript he had been working on when he died. Greenstein was a 3rd generation baker, who had his own Jewish Bakery on Long Island, NY. It is infused with memories, as well as those little nuances that we learn at Grandma's hip. Greenstein gives you the hints and tips, that old time bakers now and use, for those amazing recipes!

The book is divided into sections by the 'dough' that is the starter for each, like bundt, gugelhopf and stollen. Once you master the doughs, then making your own versions is super easy. This is not a quick cook book however. These are dishes that not only require some time, they require dedication to the process. But the results? Amazing! I was SO thrilled to find a Hungarian Coffee Cake recipe that IS the recipe that I used to be addicted to at a Bay Area Coffee Shop in California. They got their cakes from a little old lady, who would NOT divulge her recipe. I got enough hints to try to track down a recipe, but never found the RIGHT one, This book has it. Finally!!

This is an amazing book, and if you are looking at taking your baking to the next level, this is THE book to help you do it. It would be a great gift idea, packaged with some backing accessories!


As all the recipes in the book are VERY involved, it was hard to find a simple recipe to share. But then I saw this one, and I knew it was perfect, as we always are looking for a great Sugar Cookie recipe during the holidays, that will take shapes and icing well. THIS is the recipe you've been looking for!

About the Author:

George Greensteinwas a third-generation professional baker who owned and ran a Jewish bakery,  The Cheesecake King, on Long Island for twenty years. There he baked his favorites, like Jewish rye, cheese, and cinnamon raisin breads—much to the delight of his wife, children, and grandchildren. He passed away in 2012. This is his second book.

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