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.
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 PicklesViann 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 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.gefilteria.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.
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.