The Hot Bread Kitchen: Artisanal Baking from Around the World
By Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez with Julia Turshen
2015, Clarkson Potter, 978-0-80418-617-9, $35 hb.
Reviewed by Tom Verde on June 10, 2016
Bangladeshi-born Lutfunnessa Islam’s name and her job title—Product Coordinator for Lavash and Granola—says it all about the bakery that inspired this diverse cookbook. She bakes chapattis, lavash bread and other delights at Hot Bread Kitchen in East Harlem, New York. This unique bakery, “[a] social enterprise that provides a life-changing education and opens doors for low-income minority women,” serves up all manner of international sweet and savory baked goods, including a fair share from the wider Muslim world—Persian, snowshoe-shaped nan-e-barbari and buttery nan-e qandi, sumac-spiced spinach pies (inspired by a Palestinian baker), as well as a wholesome, whole-wheat, go-to pita—prepared by a multiethnic staff of women from all corners of the globe. This is the sort of book that feels right just acquiring (profits support the bakery’s social mission), let alone trying any of its abundant, authentic and eclectic recipes.