Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baking Bread in Jerusalem

The baker carefully pulling the baked bread out of the oven with tongs

As I mentioned in my last post, I just returned from 2 weeks in Israel. I traveled all over the country and took over a thousand photos and an hour and a half of video on my HD Flip Mino. Much of the footage is of my meals, or of restaurants or markets. I'm a little obsessed with food. And the food of Israel is delicious and amazing.

On my very last day in Israel, my friend Joel, who moved to Jerusalem about 10 months ago, took me to a bakery in Jerusalem just outside the shuk (outdoor market). It was my birthday. Joel thought I'd get a kick out of the unusual way this bakery bakes its bread. He was right. I was fascinated by the bizarre oven pits and baking method. You stretch out the bread dough on what looks like a round pillow cushion, then carefully hold the edge of this cushion with your hand, stick your arm in the oven, and slap the cushion against the oven wall so that the dough sticks to the wall. It bakes for 3 minutes.

The baker saw how interested I was in what he was doing, and kindly invited me into the kitchen. He showed me the whole process, then showed me the scars on his arm from several burns, and then asked me to try my hand at slapping dough into the oven. Um, in that order. Let me repeat that. First he shows me his battle wounds, then says it's my turn. Suffice it to say, I was scared to death.

Without further ado, here's my 5 minute video of bread baking in a Jerusalem bakery. Enjoy!

Marni and Joel Go Inside a Jerusalem Bakery Kitchen

In the Bakery Kitchen!

The baker preparing the portions of dough

The baker and Marni hanging out in the kitchen

Dough baking against the oven wall

The bakery sign as seen from Agrippas Street

My friend Joel and me enjoying the just-baked bread!


Mom said...

This is absolutely priceless! Love how you captured the memory of it all - in text, photos, and video!!

Fun Joel said...

Awesome! Thanks for posting!

BTW, for anyone interested, the place is called Ha'achim Chaba, and is on Agrippas, near Arnon. As you head down the hill from the shuk to ShuKanyon it is on the left.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was really cool. What a memorable birthday you had. Looks yummy too. Welcome back!

Dvora Meyers said...

I love that you kept calling zaatar "the flavor." Looks like you had a great trip.

Unknown said...

What a neat experience! I love the video. You were very brave to stick your hand in the oven! :)

Marni said...

Mom - Thanks! I was so excited to have the experience captured on video!

Fun Joel - It was so much fun touring Jerusalem with you!!

Tim - Thanks!

Dvora - Yeah yeah, I am a newbie to zaatar. Hehe. Yes, the trip was wonderful.

Ctjhia - I know! Brave, and terrified!

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