Cookbook Give-Away: Modern Jewish Baker
Modern Jewish Baker, Shannon Sarna

Cookbook Give-Away: Modern Jewish Baker

Know anyone who loves challah, babka, bagels, rugelach? Know anyone who doesn’t?!

We’re doing cartwheels over Modern Jewish Baker; Challah, Babka, Bagels & More, Shannon Sarna’s guide to all of our favorite Jewish baked goods.

That’s why we’re running a give-away this week!

For more on why we love this cookbook, scroll down to read our post and find Sarna’s recipe for Spicy Pizza Rugelach.

What?! You hadn’t thought of baking savory rugelach? Or baking rugelach at all? We think you will, once you see how skillfully Sarna guides readers through her drool-worthy cookbook.

Here’s the scoop on our give-away:

One lucky reader will win one copy of Modern Jewish Baker; Challah, Babka, Bagels & More by leaving a comment here.

Contest runs 10/4/17 through 10/9/17 at 6 PM.

Enter by leaving a comment at the end of this blogpost. Tell us what your favorite iconic Jewish bread or sweet is. We want to know if you’ve baked this at home, in a class or if you buy at your favorite bakery? Earliest memories? Current passions? (You’ll learn a bit more about my story as I share in the post below).

Note: as a security measure, I need to approve every comment on my blog, so fret NOT, if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. It will, promise!

Remember to use an e-mail that you check frequently. We’ll announce the winner on 10/10 once we get your mailing address. USA addresses, only, please.

hamantaschen Modern Jewish Baker
Rye Crust Hamantaschen with Grape Jelly, Modern Jewish Baker

All images and recipe reproduced with permission, The Countryman Press, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, 2017.

UPDATE: Our winner of this contest is Judy from NYC! We LOVE reading each and every comment and entry so thanks to all of you who shared with us.

Here’s what Judy wrote to me after winning this beautiful volume, “My favorite challah baking time is Rosh Hashana, when I roll the dough with cinnamon and sugar. I feel like having homemade challah and desserts really elevates a meal and makes my family feel special. I am excited to use this book to find some new recipes!”

And now we’re gearing up for another give-away so check back in each week to see what we’re up to. 






  1. No doubt this will be a common answer, but I’m all about the babka right now. I even made a zucchini bread babka, and a carrot cake babka, but I’m not done yet. I have many more bready ideas… 😉

  2. My favorite is Rugalach that I make from the Baking with Julia cookbook. It is a recipe by Lauren Groveman. Takes me several days but its worth the work and the wait!

  3. How can anyone choose her favourite sweet? There are rugalach, babka, challah- all delicious! The one recipe that is saved for special occasions is the one for mun cookies. My grandmother taught me to roll the dough out very thin and put the whole piece into the oven. When baked, break the large cookie into pieces. My stomach does not care if the pieces are irregular!

  4. I love baking anything I bake with my granddaughters! Latest baking effort was sweet rugalach and I know they would love the pizza rugalach from this book…..and lots of other recipes in it!

  5. My favorite is Mandel Bread. When my son was in college, I would make every flavor I could think of. It is a family favorite. We ll use the same recipe but they all taste different.

  6. Last month I made Challah bread for the first time and absolutely loved it! Then I did it again, but added garlic to the center of each strand and we loved that even more! Next I am going to try adding chocolate!!!

  7. i love challah!! i love baking it, i love eating it! my mom used to use up leftover challah for french toast on sundays and that is just the most special memory now that me and my sisters and parents are scattered. it’s our favorite reunion meal!

  8. Poppy seed bobka. When my kids were young it was my daughter Leah’s favorite dessert. So I would clear out the freezer and we’d take a family trip down to a Jewish bakery on the lower east side (Essex street?) and buy 10 or 15 at a time. When we used them all up. We would do it again. Great excuse to go to the city. While we were there we got pickles too. Sadly the bakery is gone. I miss those days.

  9. Cinnamon raisin rugelach!! Every time I make them I’m transported back to my Eastern European Grandma’s kitchen which was so small there was barely room to move between the gas stove and the refrigerator but she turned out the most amazingly delicious baked goods. I learned how to cook and bake from her. Making the cream cheese based dough and mixing the sugar and cinnamon are some of my earliest kitchen memories. And the way the house smelled as they were baking – wonderful! Rugelach take time to make but it is soooo worth it!! And my children love them too 🙂

  10. Challah! I “sculpt” aspects of the parasha or holiday onto the challah with small pieces of dough and the family and guests have to guess (rising dough turns the pic into a Rorschach test) and then discuss the meaning. Over the years, it has elevated our celebratory meals through interesting discussions and humor.

  11. My grandmother was a consummate baker, so it’s hard to choose among her challah, her “roller cookies” (they were NOT rugelech), her strudel, and other gems. But if I had to pick one, it would be her cheesecake — not the ricotta cheesecake made by my Italian friends, not the New York-style cheesecake for which I am known to friends and family — but a proper Poylish dense delight with the tang (and “tam”) that only comes from farmer cheese. We never got Bubi’s recipe; I miss it still.

  12. It is sooo hard to pick a favorite! I bake challah weekly and babka, rugelach, bagels and more regularly. I also make modern mandelbrodt in different versions. Challah is probably my favorite but the family wants more rugelach for sure!

  13. My favorite things to bake are Babkas, Challot, and cake. But I’m always up for a challenge and like to try new things! My biggest obstacle at times is making things pareve since most of my baking is done for Friday dinner and that is usually meat. My substitutions are usually successful. And tasty 😉

  14. I love traditional parve quick breads. They are so simple to make, are always a hit and freeze well. Banana breads, pumpkin breads, zucchini breads. . .now I understand why my mother relied on them!

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