April 22, 2013

Artisan Bread Still a Weak Link for Kosher in US

NEW YORK — Bread has been one of the food categories in many parts of the world that has experienced an appreciable upgrade. At Brooklyn’s Fairway, there is a large assortment of artisan breads baked on premises and certified by the Kof-K and Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein. In israel, many hotels have expanded their already formidable assortment of breads as part of their legendary breakfast menus. One Tel Aviv bakery advertises more than 35 different artisan breads. 

In France, artisan bread is a basic staple and is even marketed worldwide as French breads. Kosher restaurants in many Jewish districts offer an assortment of French artisan breads. In the UK, a couple from Israel recently opened Cohen’s Bakery, a new 5,500 square foot kitchen site in Brent and have plans to introduce a whole range of exciting new breads to the kosher market. They plan to include Italian breads like ciabatta and focaccia, reflecting the Italian heritage of Mrs. Cohen’s mother.

What is driving the artisan bread revolution and slowly making inroads in kosher is the many people who are making the artisan breads at home. Appliance stores say that they have noticed an uptick in the purchase of breadmakers, particularly by younger families. The basic ingredients are llukewarm water, granulated yeast, kosher salt and all-purpose white flour.

Some kosher experts call the relative paucity of kosher artisan bread “a weak link in kosher;” others predict that it is on the verge of “coming out” pointing out to the expanded variety at weddings and other affairs.