Post­ed by Miri Pomer­antz Dauber

With the pub­li­ca­tion of Kristin Han­nah’s new book, The Nightin­gale, ear­li­er this month, JBC Book Clubs worked in coop­er­a­tion with St.Martin’s Press to cre­ate a book club kit with a Jew­ish twist. The kit includes his­tor­i­cal infor­ma­tion, dis­cus­sion ques­tions, rec­om­mend­ed reads, and, of course, recipes! You can down­load the full kit here, but a few of the recipes are shared below. 


(adapt­ed from Saveur
Baguettes play a role in the resis­tance as well, hid­ing Isabelle’s under­ground newslet­ters and deliv­er­ing blank iden­ti­ty papers to Viann as an unusu­al fill­ing, Henri’s maman’s spe­cial recipe. And, well, it’s France. 

1 ½ cups tap water, heat­ed to 115° F
1 tsp. active dry yeast
3 ¼ cups all – pur­pose flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
Canola oil, for greas­ing bowl
½ cup ice cubes

Use a whisk to com­bine the yeast and water in a bowl, and let sit about 10 min­utes, until the yeast is foamy. Add in flour and stir with a fork until a dough forms. Add salt and begin to knead on a light­ly floured sur­face, until dough is smooth and elas­tic, about 10 minutes.

Trans­fer dough to a light­ly oiled bowl and turn over once to make sure that all sides have a light coat­ing of oil. Cov­er with­with plas­tic wrap and allow to rise for an hour, until dou­bled in size. 

Roll dough into a rec­tan­gle and fold all four sides in toward the mid­dle (first with the long sides, then the short) to cre­ate a round­ed pack­et. Seal the seam and return the dough, with the seam fac­ing down, to the bowl. Cov­er with plas­tic wrap again, and allow to rest until it dou­bles in size again, approx­i­mate­ly one hour. 

Place a cast iron skil­let on the bot­tom shelf of the oven and pre­heat to 475 degrees. 

Trans­fer dough to the floured work sur­face, and divide it into three equal pieces. Form 12 – 14 inch ropes out of each piece. Cov­er a cook­ie sheet (or any rim­less bak­ing pan) with parch­ment paper and dust it with flour.

Even­ly space the ropes of dough across the sheet, and then cre­ate dividers between the dough by pulling up the paper in between each loafand use rolled kitchen tow­els under the paper pleats to help the loaves keep shape as they rise. Cov­er the pan loose­ly with plas­tic and allow the dough to rise again for about 45 – 60 min­utes, until dou­bled in size. 

Uncov­er loaves, remove the tow­el dividers, and straight­en the paper to space the loaves out. Make four slash­es (about ¼ in. deep and 4 in. long) on each loaf with a par­ing knife. If you are using a bak­ing or piz­za stone (rec­om­mend­ed), slide parch­ment paper onto the stone and place in the oven. Add ½ c. of ice cubes to the skil­let on the bot­tom shelf of the oven (to cre­ate steam which helps cre­ate the soft inside before the crusty out­side bakes). Bake for about 30 min­utes, until the bread is gold­en and crispy (it should sound hol­low when tapped).

Nat­u­ral­ly Fer­ment­ed Sour Dill Pickles

Viann does a lot of pick­ling and can­ning to make her gar­den har­vests last through the win­ter. One of Viann’s pick­led veg­eta­bles is cucum­bers, so why not serve pick­les at your book club? 

For this recipe, we asked writer and pick­ler Jef­frey Yoskowitz for advice. Learn more about Jef­frey fol­low­ing the recipe. 

1 quart jar
1 lb of small, fresh pick­ling cucum­bers (Kir­by or Per­sian cu-cum­bers)
1 T non-iodized kosher salt
1 – 2 Bay Leaves
3 peeled but whole cloves of gar­lic
2 – 3 sprigs of dill
1 dried chili pep­per
¼ tsp corian­der
¼ tsp mus­tard seed
¼ tsp black pep­per­corns
a few cloves
Any oth­er spices and herbs you want to add (option­al)

Fill the jar halfway from top with cold water. Add salt, tight­en lid and shake to dis­solve salt. Add gar­lic, dill and spices. Pack quart jar with cucum­bers. Make sure veg­eta­bles are below water lev­el — you can wedge them under the neck of the jar.

Leave the jar out on the counter at room tem­per­a­ture with the lid on, but not too tight. After the first two days, burp” the jar (open lid to relieve pres­sure). After 3 – 4 days (for half-sour pick­les), 5 to 7 days (for full-sours) or when­ev­er you like the fla­vor, trans­fer the jar to the fridge. Enjoy! 

Jef­frey Yoskowitz is a writer, pick­ler and entre­pre­neur. He was recent­ly named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 list in Food and Wine and was a guest chef at the James Beard House kitchen in both 2013 and 2014

In 2012, Yoskowitz co-found­ed The Gefilte­ria (www​.gefilte​ria​.com), a ven­ture re-imag­in­ing Old World Jew­ish Foods through unique din­ing expe­ri­ences, talks and demos and pro­duc­tion of an arti­sanal gefilte fish sold around the coun­try. He got his start in the food world at Adamah Organ­ic farm in Litch­field Coun­ty, Con­necti­cut, where he worked as a farm fel­low and returned a year lat­er as a pick­le apprentice. 

Yoskowitz has writ­ten about food and cul­ture in pub­li­ca­tions such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Tablet, Gas­tro­nom­i­ca, Meat­pa­per, The For­ward, among oth­ers. Through his writ­ing and research he has become an author­i­ty on food and cul­ture. In 2016, his forth­com­ing cook­book The Gefilte Man­i­festo will be pub­lished by Flat­iron Books, an imprint of Macmillan.

Relat­ed Content:

Miri joined the JBC team in Win­ter, 2004 upon grad­u­at­ing from Bran­deis Uni­ver­si­ty. Orig­i­nal­ly from Philadel­phia, she has lived and stud­ied in Israel and Lon­don. Pri­or to work­ing with JBC, she interned for the Jew­ish Pub­li­ca­tion Soci­ety. After sev­en years as the direc­tor of the JBC Net­work pro­gram, Miri has shift­ed her focus to book clubs, work­ing to devel­op resources to bet­ter serve book club readers.