Jenn Hall

New Jersey Monthly: 7 Cookbooks with Jersey Roots to Upgrade Your Isolation Cooking Routine

Shelter-in-place cooking can feel like an amazing escape or an obligation. If you’ve already cooked through your own go-tos, these cookbooks will offer a jolt of inspiration.

FOR BAKERS: Modern Jewish Baker, Shannon Sarna

As the reality of shelter-in-place sets in, cookbook author and editor of The Nosher Shannon Sarna hosted a Zoom challah class. While she demoed braiding techniques, her youngest daughter strolled into the scene—and it was kind of perfect. In that moment, Sarna was all of us, wrestling pets and kids as we try to work. Sarna’s book covers heavy hitters in the Jewish baking canon, from challah and babka to rugelach and matza. Yet she’s not a traditionalist, offering creative riffs for each master recipe. (Think s’mores babka.) Bonus: Kneading dough is incredibly soothing right now. If you’re nervous about technique, relax. The book is packed with photos. Besides, as Sarna said to the class: “If your challah isn’t absolutely perfect, you still made fresh, homemade challah, and all bread is delicious.” Cheers to that.

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Published March 25, 2020

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