That’s pLetzel, not pRetzel… (BBB September 2022)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Wild Pletzel – of course it’s wild, thank you very much; it’s Sourdough September; information about Bread Baking Babes;

En anglais, on s’appelle le quartier Juif “le Pletzel” [In English, the Jewish Quarter is called “the Pletzel”]
– Florence Kahn, “Bagels, cheesecakes et autres recettes Yiddish: Delicatessen” [Yiddish Cuisine : Authentic and Delicious Jewish Recipes]

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Pletzel (Onion Board)

BBB September 2022

This month, Karen’s choice for the BBBs is pletzel. Please note that is NOT a typo. It really is an “l” rather than an “r” in the name.

Onion and Poppy Seed Pletzel is a European flatbread similar to Focaccia. It is commonly referred to as the Onion Bread Board and can be found in bakeries in NYC.
 
– Sandhya Ramakrishnan, My Cooking Journey | Onion And Poppy Seed Pletzel | Onion Bread Board
You don’t hear much about the pletzel these days. On one hand, it’s an Ashkenazi Jewish flatbread covered with raw onions and poppy seeds. On the other hand, it’s a neighborhood in Paris.
    The name comes from the Yiddish for “little square,” as in a little area within a city. (Technically, the Yiddish spelling of the neighborhood is “פּלעצל,” which transliterates to “pletzl.” The flatbread, on the other hand, is more commonly spelled “pletzel.”) The Pletzl in Paris sits in the Marais neighborhood of the Fourth Arrondissement.
 
– Joe Baur, food52 | This Bread Is Beloved in Paris—& a Relic of Jewish History
A few years ago, the editor of a food magazine called and said he was writing an article on pletzel, which he called “Jewish focaccia.” I thought this was a bit of a stretch—but not entirely. I love it and was delighted recently to show my son David how to make it.
      Bialystoken tzible pletzel kuchen is originally from Bialystok in northeast Poland. Many years ago, the Yiddish Film Archives sent me a clip from the 1930s of a woman proudly holding a freshly baked pie-shaped flatbread topped with onions and poppy seeds. I have never forgotten her or her bread.
      Called “onion board” by many immigrants to New York, pletzel is made in this country with leftover sweet challah and sometimes with the stiffer bialy dough.
 
– Joan Nathan, Tablet | The Pleasure of Pletzel

The BBBs’ pletzel recipe calls for commercial yeast. But as pletzels were brought to western Europe and North America before commercial yeast was readily available AND because it’s Sourdough September, I made an executive decision to use wild yeast. Here is what I did to the BBBabes’ September 2022 recipe:

BBB Pletzel diary:

2 September 2022, 15:55 I just noticed that “Pletzel”, “September” and “2022” are cut off on the badge. I blame the fact that the idiotic annual Air Show was previewing (pretty much directly over head) while I was putting the badge together. Tomorrow, Sunday, AND Monday afternoon (3 to 5 September) from noon to 3 p.m. daily, we will have jets screaming overhead. Oh boy. J’adore this long weekend. :lalala:

My quartet WAS going to have a rehearsal at my house on Monday afternoon from noon until 3 (1st time in over two years that we’ve felt safe enough to be in our small living room…). Thank goodness I remembered about the air show! Can you imagine trying to rehearse the intricacies of Schubert Rosamunde 4tet with planes shrieking by overhead?

3 September 2022, 12:41 Well rats rats rats. Even though it’s a little hot and humid, it’s stunningly beautiful day – sunny, clear skies. This means that the annual air show WILL begin at any moment. Phooey.

We went to the market this morning to get green beans, more radishes,
… Here they come! Just loud buzzing so far, but the blare of the engines should come overhead any second. Yup! There they are! Can you hear them even from there? I wouldn’t be surprised. …
and more cherry tomatoes. Alas, there were no cherry tomatoes this weekend so we settled for a basket of stunningly gorgeous field tomatoes. Also not to be found were rejected beet greens. We THOUGHT we were getting some, but a lady had managed to get her request in just before us. She apologized to us! We laughed and asked her what time dinner was. And she laughed too. Then she described how she cooks beet greens: butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. “So good!”

7 September 2022, 10:32 Today seems like a good day to head into the rabbit warrens (which include the wonderful “Wayback Machine” library, to learn a little more about pletzel. :-)

In Yiddish, pletzel is a small town square, i.e., a plaza or piazza. This is probaly where the name of the bread came from, for pletzel is a kind of flatbread, sometimes called “onion board” because it is covered with minced onions and sometimes poppy seed as well and is about the size of a baking sheet […] Think of it as Jewish focaccia. In commercial bakeries, bialy dough is used to make pletzel but we’ll leave that to the professionals. At home, challah dough is the base for this wonderful treat. Pletzlach, by the way, is the plural of pletzel
– Arthur Schwartz, ‘Pletzel | Onion Boards’, Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish recipes revisited, p. 214
In America, an onion pletzel is like an onion-topped focaccia, but to me – and more generally in the UK – it is a soft, chewy roll, a little larger and flatter than a bagel, with a dimple filled with fried onions and poppy seeds. Pletzels have to be eaten the day they are made – try a fresh one, warm from the oven, and you will wonder how you have survived so long without one. Pletzel is also the name of the Marais, the Jewish quarter of Paris, where the delightful Florence Kahn and her family bake some of the best breads I have ever tasted – including pletzels.
Les spécialités d’Europe de l’Est sont arrivées en France il y a près d’un siècle avec les vagues d’immigration polonaise, russe et juive. C’est dans le Marais, quartier historique de la communauté ashkénaze à Paris, que nous sommes allés préparer ce sandwich « petite place » (« pletzel » en yiddish), cousin du bagel et du hamburger. Pour cela, rendez-vous chez Florence Kahn, qui depuis vingt-cinq ans tient une boutique réputée pour ses spécialités juives d’Europe centrale et de Russie.
[Eastern European specialties arrived in France nearly a century ago with waves of Polish, Russian and Jewish immigrants. It was in the Marais, a historic district of the Ashkenazi community in Paris, that we went to prepare this “small square” sandwich (“pletzel” in Yiddish), a cousin of the bagel and the hamburger. For that, go to Florence Kahn’s, who for twenty-five years has been running a boutique renowned for her Jewish specialties from Central Europe and Russia.]
 
L’Euro sur un plateau | Le Parisien
– Anne Shooter, ‘Onion Pletzels’, Sesame & Spice: Baking from the East End to the Middle East, p.277
[O]n s’est rendu à l’angle de la rue des Ecouffes et de la rue des rosiers, en plein marais. C’est à cet endroit que ce trouve la jolie boulangerie-traiteur Florence Kahn avec sa superbe façade en mosaïque bleue, reconnaissable entre toutes, classée Monument Historique de Paris. Ici c’est un peu le temple de la cuisine yiddish où l’on retrouve le côté boulangerie, pâtisserie mais aussi traiteur.
      A l’heure du déjeuner, vous pouvez […] goûter aux big pletzel de Florence à base de pain au pavot garni sur plusieurs étages de caviar d’aubergine, poivrons, tomates, concombres, cornichons aigre-doux, pikel, pastrami ou dinde. On opte pour la formule à 13€ qui compte le big pletzel, une pâtisserie et une boisson. Parfait pour les gros mangeurs!
[[W]e went to the corner of rue des Ecouffes and rue des rosiers, in the middle of the Marais. This is where you will find the lovely bakery-caterer Florence Kahn with its superb facade in blue mosaic, recognizable among all, classified as a Historic Monument of Paris. Here is a little temple of Yiddish cuisine where you find not only the bakery/pastry shop, but also caterer.
      At lunchtime, you can […] taste Florence’s big pletzel made with poppy seed bread garnished with several layers of eggplant caviar, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet and sour pickles, corned beef, pastrami or turkey. We opt for the €13 formula which includes the big pletzel, a pastry and a drink. Perfect for big eaters!]

– Jeannine, Jeannine à Paris | [Street Food] Florence Kahn Dans Le Marais
These are different from the pletzel that you can now find in some bagel and bialy bakeries, which are made with bialy dough and are much larger and tougher. These are light, soft, and oniony. Note that the fresh onion turns pink as it bakes, looking like pink confetti topping.
– Maggie Glezer, ‘Flam Pletzel Onion Rounds’, A Blessing of Bread, p.118
Rosh Hashanah has brisket, Hanukkah has latkes, Purim has hamantaschen—Sukkot even has a weird-looking lemon. But there is one Jewish holiday that’s explicitly not about food: Yom Kippur. Unless you grew up in my family.
      On the eve of this Jewish day of atonement and fasting, my parents, my sister, and I would walk home from Kol Nidre at the local high school, where our synagogue held services for the “overflow” crowd. The four of us, now a couple hours into a barely 24-hour fast that nonetheless felt like an eternity, would form an assembly line in the kitchen for an annual tradition: making the pletzels.
– Julia Kramer, Bon Appetit | Pletzels, the Yom Kippur Food You’ve Never Heard Of
In my memory, the pletzel of my childhood was quite thin in the middle (sort of like Jewish onion pizza with poppy seeds and no cheese) with a high rim and a few crunchy bubbles around the edges. […] Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts the 10-day High Holy Day period on a serious note. As the Union for Reform Judaism puts it, Rosh Hashanah is “a time of prayer, self-reflection, and repentance.”
      Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, ends the High Holy Days. The holidays remind us to ask forgiveness of those we have wronged, vowing to do better in our relationships with God and other people during the coming year. Still, food and eating together are central to all Jewish holidays. The High Holy Days are no different. […] [T]raditional foods play a central role in creating memories of the religious observance. While not necessarily a traditional High Holy Day food, pletzel is a traditional Ashkenazic Jewish food.

Wheeeee!! J’adore warrening!!

How fitting that we are making pletzel this month! This year, Rosh Hashana is on 25-27 September.

11 September 2022, 15:49 I WAS going to make pletzel this past weekend. I really was. But because a colleague came down with Covid (poor girl!), I was asked to fill in for her this week for a concert next Saturday (with rehearsals in the middle of the days during the week), AND ALSO to play in the string section for (are you ready for this??) The Eagles Toronto concert : two nights, Friday and last night). Really fun; really loud…. Really Really Really loud.

If it weren’t going to be raining tomorrow (60% chance, which of course, means 100% chance), I’d make pletzel tomorrow, because we’re planning to bake it on the barbecue.

Therefore, it looks like Friday will be my baking day. Which is the 16th. Sigh.

Hence, I will probably be late. Again. As usual. Drat!! So sorry about that.

12 September 2022, 16:59 Don’t you love it when you misread your calendar? It turns out that I CAN make pletzel on Wednesday! Maybe, by a miracle, I’ll be on time for once.

In my attempt at being on time, I’m actually reading the recipe. (I hope nobody fainted.)

The dough part of the recipe calls for “3 tablespoons, olive oil, divided”. But I’m unclear on how the olive oil is divided. Am I right that none of it goes into the dough itself and that 1 Tablespoon goes onto the parchment papered pan, and the other 2 Tablespoons (??) go on top just before the onion mixture?

So I asked. And yay for Karen! She got back immediately:
Sorry about the confusion. 2 tablespoons in the dough and 1 tablespoon in the topping for the olive oil. You can skip it in the dough if you like as some recipes out there don’t include it.
– Karen K, in message to BBBabes

I think I will keep the oil in both the dough and the topping. Otherwise, I plan to make only a few changes to the BBB recipe….

13 September 2022, 22:31 Look at me!! I remembered to feed the starter! We WILL be having pletzel tomorrow night with dinner.

14 September 2022, 09:04 The night temperatures are beginning to drop (yay), so the leavener has clearly just started to fall. I have added a small(ish) spoonful of whole wheat flour and a splash of water so I don’t have to mix the dough until around noon.

12:31 Whoohoooo! The leavener was floating. Mixing the dough was easy! I’ll add the salt in half an hour.

I suppose I had better set an alarm for myself to make the onion/poppy seed topping. :lalala:

16:38 I have now pre-cooked the onion. I made yet another executive decision to use just 2 onions, rather than 3.

Hmmmm. I hope I did enough!

19:12 The rectangle is shaped and resting. We’ll sit outside on this beautiful soft evening for one last (probably) charcoal barbecue.

19:59 Our beautiful little dome charcoal barbecue (picnic size) has done its magic and T has just turned on the gas barbecue while I was putting the onions onto the shaped, resting rectangle. I decided that two onions AREN’T enough, so I thinly sliced another into half moons to scatter with the onion sludge.

BBB September 2022

20:01 And onto the barbecue it goes..

BBB September 2022

20:11 What a beautiful night! But. Dark, isn’t it?

he: how long is this going to take?
me: I’m thinking about as long as pizza. So it should be done soon. Shouldn’t it?
he: But pizza goes onto a hot stone. This is going to take longer. How long does the recipe say?
me: Half an hour in the oven. But the barbecue is way hotter, isn’t it?

September night around 8pm
20:07 looking southwest from our garden
Shorter Days
20:10 looking east from our garden

20:32 Oh oh. Using the barbecuing was a mistake. There has been sniping in all directions. The oven is on now. Maybe the pletzel will finish baking soon when we bring it inside from the dark.

BBB September 2022
almost done….

20:33 The oven is now turned off, not even getting a chance to become even vaguely warm; the pletzel is done! Yay. All we have to do now is slice the pork shoulder and do the vegetables. Is it dinner time yet?

BBB September 2022

I was really happy eating pletzel with charcoal grilled pork shoulder, Ontario corn (waaahhh! that was the last of it until next summer, I fear), grilled red pepper, steamed green beans, and morita sauce. And onion board.

Thank you, Karen! This was really fun! …and delicious too.

Pletzel is an onion-poppy seed flatbread, which bakeries apparently don’t make any more. It’s time that we home bakers do! Although the dough is somewhat sticky and difficult to work with, it’s worth the challenge.
 
– Tracey Zabar, Zabar’s | Recipe for Pletzel from The Savory Baker

BBB Septemember 2022

Here is the September 2022 BBB recipe that we were given. And here is what I did to it:

Wild Pletzel (Onion Board)
based on the pletzel recipes in “The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook” by Beth Corman Lee, and “The Savory Baker” by America’s Test Kitchen

If focaccia and a bialy had a baby, it would a pletzel.
– Beth Corman Lee, ‘PLetzel, Not PRetzel!’, The essential Jewish Baking Cookbook, p.39
It’s only been in the past few decades that pletzel bread has fallen from fashion […]. This old-school flatbread featuring onion and poppy seeds deserves a renewed place at the table.
– America’s Test Kitchen, The Savory Baker: 150 Creative Recipes, from Classic to Modern, Crackers & Flatbreads: Pletzel

Leavener

  • spoonful (~15 grams) Jane Mason whole wheat starter from the fridge
  • 50 grams whole wheat flour
  • 50 grams water

Dough

  • 315 grams all purpose flour
  • 10 grams wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 244 grams water at room temperature
  • All the leavener
  • 7 grams seasalt + 10 grams water

Topping

  • good shot olive oil, divided
  • 2 large cooking onions, diced
  • a large pinch seasalt
  • 1 tablespoon (or so) poppy seeds
  • 1 large cooking onion, sliced thinly in half moons
  • sel gris (the BBB recipe calls for “Flake sea salt (optional)”)
  1. Leavener: On the evening before you will be baking pletzel, mix leavener ingredients in a smallish bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave overnight in the oven with only the light turned on if it’s cool at night, or with the light turned off if it’s still warm (as it is now).
  2. Dough: On the morning of the day you will be baking pletzel, stir in about 10g whole wheat flour and the same amount by weight of room temperature water. Cover with a plate and put the bowl back into the oven with everything turned off. At around noon, take a small spoonful of the leavener and see if it floats in a bowl of cool water. It probably will. If the leavener has a concave surface, sprinkle in a little more whole wheat flour and the same amount by weight of water. Stir, cover and let rest for about 30 minutes to check again. It’s very likely that it will float. When it floats, proceed with making the dough by dumping flour and wheat germ. Add2 tablespoons olive oil, 244 grams water, and all the leavener. Use a wooden spoon or dough whisk to mix these ingredients to make a rough dough. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter for about 40 minutes.
  3. Topping, Part 1: Preheat a stainless steel frying pan over medium-low heat. Add a good shot of olive oil – say a tablespoon – and add the diced onions and a large pinch seasalt. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft, translucent, and just beginning to turn gold in spots. Remove from the heat and set aside to allow to cool.
  4. adding the salt: In a small bowl, whisk the salt into 10 grams of water. Pour the salt mixture over the dough.
  5. Kneading: Use one of your hands to squoosh the salt and water into the dough; use the other hand to steady the bowl – this way you always have a clean hand. At first the dough might be a bit messy and seem like it’s coming apart. Persevere. Suddenly, it will seem more like dough than weirdly folded, slimy glop. Keep folding it over onto itself until it is relatively smooth. Cover with a plate and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
  6. Repeat the above step 2 or 3 more times.
  7. Pre-shaping: Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a rimmed baking sheet. Oil the parchment and place the dough in the center. Use your fingers to stretch it towards the edges of the pan. It will try to bounce back. This is to be expected. When it’s almost to the edges, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rest on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  8. Shaping: Drizzle the top of the dough some olive oil. Use your hands (wet them under cold running water if you want) to complete the gentle stretching of the dough with your fingers. It will be very easy to pull the dough.
  9. Topping, Part 2: Just before baking, spread the reserved cooked onions onto the dough. Scatter the onion slices over top and sprinkle on poppy seeds and sel gris (or any coarse finishing salt). Use your fingertips to put lots of indentations into the dough. Leave uncovered as you preheat your baking source.
  10. Baking: Pletzel takes from 20 to 30 minutes to bake.
    • Barbecue: Preheat the barbecue to medium high heat. Place the pan on the grill and close the lid. After about 5 minutes, check to make sure the bottom is not getting too brown. Keep checking from time to time… If it seems like the bottom is cooking faster than the top, move the tray over to continue cooking over indirect heat.
    • Oven: Preheat the oven to 450F. Place the pletzel tray on the middle shelf of the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 400F. Bake until golden. It’s a good idea to turn the tray around half way through the baking time – to allow for uneven oven heat.
  11. Allow the pletzel to cool slightly on a footed rack before using a pizza wheel to cut it into reasonable sized pieces.

Serve warm. Pletzel can be gently reheated in the oven. (We use our toaster oven.)

Notes:

Wild yeast vs commercial yeast: The BBB recipe calls for using commercial yeast. But because commercial yeast has only been around about 100 years, and it is likely that pletzel has been made for much longer than 100 years, I decided to go with wild yeast.

We have been making wild yeast bread almost exclusively since July 2017. Very occasionally, if I’ve forgotten to prepare the starter, I’ll use commercial yeast. Bread made at home with commercial yeast still tastes pretty darn good. But it just doesn’t taste quite as good as bread made with our Jane Mason 100% whole wheat starter – even when we combine commercial yeast with a large spoonful of Jane Mason starter from the fridge.

There is something really magical about making bread with only flour, water, salt, and time. (And maybe a little oil. Maybe a little yoghurt too.)

Then there is the flavour of the bread made with only flour, water, salt, and time. It just tastes better!


Working with yeast can seem like socery. (I do believe there is a certain magic involved.) But it is also straightforward and deeply satisfying [- Breaking Bread]
[…]
The best focaccia I have eaten was one made with a sourdough starter and begun three days in advance. […]
I should add that I sometimes stir 2 tablespoons of sourdough starter into the warm water with the yeast and sugar. The inclusion is far from crucial, but it produces an even lighter, chewier loaf. [- Green olive and thyme focaccia]
[…]
I see flatbread baked all over the world in brick ovens, on pebbles and on hot metal plates over an open fire. As you watch each piece puff up in the pan you know you are doing something that has barely changed in thousands of years. [Herb flatbread]
[…]
In October 1995 I ate at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ quietly lovely restaurant in Berkeley, California. […] As we sat down and were handed the menu — decorated with a watercolour of radishes by Patricia Curtan — a basket of bread was set down on the table. Exhausted from a day spent walking San Francisco, we pounced.
      I had never eaten bread quite like it. The crust was dark, almost black; the crumb was filled with huge air pockets. It was chewy, and deliciously so. Embarrassingly, we finished the entire basket even before we had finished our drinks. (We were young and hungry.) In a heartbeat, our empty basket was silently replaced with a full one. […] That was my introduction to sourdough bread. [- Sourdough chronicles]
 
– Nigel Slater, ‘Breaking Bread’, A Cook’s Book

Topping: The BBB recipe suggests using only pre-cooked onion mixture, poppy seeds, and coarse salt for the topping. We really liked the addition of the raw onion for its texture. (Next time, we might even be inclined to forget about pre-cooking the onion and using just olive oil, poppy seeds, lots of thinly sliced onions, and coarse salt.) One of the drawbacks of using par-cooked onion on top is that the top of the pletzel stays very soft and a little moist even when completely baked.

Baking in the Barbecue: The BBB recipe suggests baking the pletzel in the oven. But because it’s still summer, we couldn’t pass up baking bread on the barbecue at least one more time before it gets too cold at night. In retrospect, it’s a good idea to refrain from using the barbecue to bake when it’s pitch black outside. :lalala:

 

BBB September 2022

Last night, T made Indian-style curry with the barbecued pork. (Please note that it has not escaped our notice that we served – eeeeeek! – pork with pletzel. But at least we didn’t add any dairy….) The curry was delicious with pletzel!

Then this morning for breakfast, we had bean soup with the last little bit of reheated (in the toaster oven) pletzel. It was delicious.

Bread Baking Babes BBB September 2022Pletzel (Onion Board)

Karen K is hosting September 2022’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:

September’s bread is pletzel. It’s an Ashkenazi Jewish flatbread and is sometimes called Onion Board. It is topped with onions and poppy seeds, just like bialys. It’s kind of a cross between focaccia and and a bialy. Typically it is shaped either in a board or a disk (called an onion disk).
[…]
It is believed pletzel was originally made with either leftover challah or bialy dough. […] This [BBB] recipe uses a lean, bialys-style dough […and…] requires very little hands on time and is very forgiving. You’ll spend the most time preparing the onions. After sautéing and baking, the onions are super sweet and delicious.
 
– Karen K, in message to BBBabes

We know you’ll want to make pletzel too! To receive a Bread Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make pletzel in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 September 2022. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to contact the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please make sure to directly contact the kitchen of the month if you want to be included in the BBBuddy roundup.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ September 2022 pletzels:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

About Sourdough September

Wild thing, you make my loaf spring
 
Sourdough September2022 sees the 10th annual, international Sourdough September.
 
The ninth month of the year is when the Real Bread Campaign goes on a mission to help everyone worldwide to discover that: life’s sweeter with sourdough!
 
Launched in 2013, the main aims of #SourdoughSeptember are encouraging people to:
 
    ▪ Bake genuine sourdough bread.
    ▪ Buy genuine sourdough bread from small, independent bakeries.
    ▪ Boost the Real Bread Campaign, the charity behind Sourdough September.
 
Sourdough September is run as an opportunity for genuine sourdough bakers and baking teachers to showcase what they do.
 
It’s also time to shout louder than usual ‘say no to sourfaux’ to alert people to this problem and help them avoid paying a premium for something that simply isn’t the real deal.
[…]
A special focus for 2022 is affordability.
 
– Real Bread Campaign, Sustainweb.org | Sourdough September 2022
Sourdough Bread For All
 
We believe that everyone should have the chance to choose Real Bread, including genuine sourdough. One obstacle to Real Bread For All is the gap between what it costs a small bakery to make bread and what people in their community on lower incomes can afford.
 
This September, we’re encouraging bakeries to consider trying out ways of subsidising at least one line of sourdough bread to offer it at a reduced price
 
– Real Bread Campaign, Sustainweb.org | Are you ready for Sourdough September?

For more information about Sourdough September, please also see baking your own sourdough, and how to say no to sourfaux:
[G]enuine sourdough is made using a live sourdough culture (aka a starter or leaven) but NOT any of the following: Baker’s yeast; Dried sourdough powder; Sourdough concentrate; Yoghurt, vinegar, or other acidifier; Flavourings, preservatives and other additives […] what we call sourfaux and Real Bread Campaign cofounder Andrew Whitley calls pseudough.

 

6 responses to “That’s pLetzel, not pRetzel… (BBB September 2022)

  1. Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)

    Oh, I wish I could send you tomatoes, I have tomatoes coming out my ears! From a little 2 inch pot I got for free while at the local garden center on Mother’s day, now a monster of a tomato plant and going berserk. Your pletzel looks great! That and pork shoulder sounds delicious, and this would certainly be perfect soup dipping fare!

    edit 17 September 2022, 11:33: Oh Oh Oh! I wish I could easily get hold of your tomatoes too, Kelly! Mercifully, there is a Saturday farmers’ market fellow who has The Best Cherry/Grape tomotoes (as well as beefsteaks, field, plum, etc. etc.) The pork shoulder WAS delicious (but I sure am glad that the Kosher police didn’t come knocking on our door to hand us a ticket!) – Elizabeth

    Reply
  2. Karen (Karen's Kitchen Stories)

    I’m so excited you got to see Beth’s book! It really is a work of art. Plus, I can always count on you to go down the history rabbit hole for these bakes! Great read and thanks for baking with me.

    edit 17 September 2022, 11:37: Thank you, Karen. It is my pleasure to burrow far far far down into the warrens. (I didn’t even include all the things I read about pletzel!) …and I love our public library! I was able to get copies of both the America’s Test Kitchen and Beth Lee’s book. You’re right! The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook is great. It was also very helpful for making pletzel. – Elizabeth

    Reply
  3. Cathy (Bread Experience)

    Ah! You made a sourdough version as well. How cool that you baked it on the grill. I bet it tasted great.

    edit 17 September 2022, 11:41: I’m really glad to have made a sourdough version too. How could I not, with that Jane Mason starter bubbling away merrily in the fridge? As for baking on the grill, I suspect that the pletzel would have been more successful if we had baked it significantly earlier in the day, when the sun was still high in the sky. Even with lights, it’s not easy to look at the bottom of bread to check for burning. (Mercifully, there were no black spots at all.) Definitely, next time, we will bake pletzel in the oven. Or perhaps we’ll follow Kelly’s lead and halve the recipe to bake pletzel in the toaster oven. – Elizabeth

    Reply
  4. elle (Feeding My Enthusiasms)

    It may have been dark, but your bbq baked onion board is beautiful and looks perfect. I agree about using raw onions…it would make the top less moist and still have awesome onion flavor.

    edit 17 September 2022, 11:45: Thank you, Elle. I have to admit that the pletzel wasn’t quite perfect, but it was indeed darn close. – Elizabeth

    Reply
  5. barbara

    Oh my! That looks fabulous! Onions and poppy seeds and flatbread with what sounds like enough olive oil!

    edit 19 September 2022, 08:18: It was pretty fabulous, Barbara. And it was even more fabulous when it was reheated because there was enough olive oil so it didn’t get all dried out in the toaster oven. – Elizabeth

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  6. Katie (Thyme for Cooking)

    I love that you did it outside. I’ve been avoiding my oven for most of the summer. We’ve had the odd evening where it was cool enough but hard to make any advance plans.
    Your pletzel is a thing of beauty!

    edit 19 September 2022, 08:24: Thank you, Katie! We too have been avoiding the oven as much as possible this summer. But usually well before sunset. …I would have loved the pletzel much more if we had baked it outside when it was still light out. (On the 16th, we baked pita on the barbecue at around 17:00. It was so easy to see when it was done!) – Elizabeth

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