by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez
Goodreads Synopsis: At first glance Hot Bread Kitchen may look like many other bakeries. Multigrain sandwich loaves, sourdough batards, baguettes, and Parker House rolls line the glass case up front in the small shop. But so, too, do sweet Mexican conchas, richm’smen flatbreads, mini bialys sporting a filling of caramelized onion, and chewy Indian naan. In fact, the breads are as diverse as the women who bake them—because the recipes come from their homelands.
Hot Bread Kitchen is a bakery that employs and empowers immigrant women, providing them with the skills to succeed in the culinary industry. The tasty corollary of this social enterprise is a line of authentic breads you won’t find anywhere else. Featured in some of New York City’s best restaurants and carried in dozens of retail outlets across the country, these ethnic gems can now be made at home with The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook.
Review: Even without the incredible photographs, the delicious recipes and the great bread baking tips, this whole book (and kitchen!) is a fantastic concept. You're not just looking at Indian-only recipes or Guatemalan-only pointers — it's every culture you can think of. I'm sad to say that I had not heard of this bakery when I was still living in NYC. But I can guarantee that the next time I visit, again, I will be sure to stage here.
The photographs: Ugh. Food porn at its finest. But also beautiful portraits of these immigrants who have the opportunity to share their culture with the world. It makes me wish I could bring an American bread recipe to a new country and bless a great human with a new recipe. Alas, I think the burger bun directions are pretty well known.
The recipes: There are leavened and unleavened bread recipe from across the globe. There are loaves of breads to make and new, full dishes to taste. There are stuffed doughs and challah, challah, challah and beyond.
The tips: As a novice bread baker, I love learning about new techniques and different ways to try a recipe. This book has simple explanations for kitchen equipment that I haven't yet learned the names of and different ways to store the breads and even step-by-step instructions with the simplest start-to-finish bread directions.
I cannot wait to try all of these breads whose names I absolutely cannot pronounce correctly.
Rating: 5 out of 5 goats
Song of the Blog: "Sail" by AWOLNATION