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Gone Kosher

September 4, 2008 By:
Carin M. Smilk, JE Feature
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Photos by Carin M. Smilk

Roz Bratt believes in baked goods; she believes in pastry, pies and fresh breads of all kinds. Being in business off South Street for the past 11 years now, she has infused the area with her beliefs -- and, of course, her products.

But last December, she decided to make a big change in business, and took her shop -- Homemade Goodies by Roz, at 510 S. Fifth St., between Lombard and South -- kosher. Now, all products are pareve, nondairy and Pas Yisroel, under the supervision of the Community Kashrus of Greater Philadelphia.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Bratt, who will turn 60 in November, noted that going kosher "was the last thing I had not done, and I wanted to try it."

As such, her prior equipment was kashered -- "all my things got boiled or burnt" -- and then everything usable went to the mikveh (she noted that some items had to be burnt and reglazed, and some pans just didn't survive the transition).

"The experience was unbelievable," she said. "I had been to a women's mikveh in Israel, but this was different."

Bratt -- a wife, mother and grandmother -- said her bakery delivers throughout the city, and that it is, in fact, the only kosher bakery in Center City proper.

Baking takes place every day, and Bratt also makes mini-challahs for patients at Pennsylvania and Jefferson hospitals; volunteers then deliver them on Fridays before Shabbat. She said each week, someone from the Jewish Family and Children's Service lets her know how many are needed.

Down the pike, she hopes to serve Sunday brunch in her quaint, kitchenette-like shop, and one day, maybe even lunch.

"I was always a destination," she says, "and hopefully will be again -- once people know I'm here."

In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, Bratt shares a few of her favorite recipes.

 
Honey Chiffon Cake

(Pareve)

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 lb. liquid honey (11/2 cups)
3 cups flour
3 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup cold coffee or tea
1 tsp. cocoa
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease a 10-pinch Bundt or tube pan.

Beat the eggs and the sugar.

Add the oil and honey, and blend well.

Combine the dry ingredients and add alternately with liquid.

Stir in the nuts and raisins, if desired.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350°, reduce heat to 300° and bake for 1 hour. When cake is done, invert and cool completely before removing from pan.

Jewish Apple Cake

(Pareve)

3 cups flour
3 tsps. baking powder
11/2 cups sugar, plus 5 Tbsps.
4 large eggs
1 cup oil
21/2 tsps. vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange juice
5 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tsps. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease a 10-inch tube pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder and 11/2 cups of sugar in a mixing bowl.

Add the eggs and wet ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining sugar, apples and cinnamon.

Pour half of the batter into the pan and then layer with apples. Repeat.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serves 12 to 14.

 
Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

(Pareve)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. soymilk
1 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats

handful of raisins

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Cream the shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar.

Add the egg, vanilla extract and milk. Beat well.

Add the dry ingredients to wet mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper).

Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden-brown.

Pumpkin Bread

(Pareve)

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsps. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups (16 oz.) pumpkin, solid pack
2/3 cup oil
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Add the oil, eggs and pumpkin. Mix just until blended. Do not overmix!

Makes 2 loaves, or 1 large and 1 mini-loaf.

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