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Reading this article about challah-making, I noticed the following:

Using the starter, I tried the Rich Sourdough Barches recipe from Inside the Jewish Bakery, which the authors say is adapted from the Trumat HaDeshen, the writings of 15th-century sage Rabbi Israel ben Petachiah Isserlein.

Where does this recipe appear in the writings of the Terumas haDeshen?

  • Sounds fishy. I did a Bar-Ilan search in this sefer for the word קמח (flour) and other related terms, but nothing even remotely resembling a challah recipe came up. – Dave May 20 '12 at 4:51
  • @Dave, bear in mind that the Terumas Hadeshen wrote other sefarim, plus there is a sefer called Leket Yosher, by one of his disciples, that records various practices of his. It might be in one of those. – Alex May 20 '12 at 15:41
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    @Dave: there is this in Leket Yosher: וזכורני שבכל ע״ש עושין לו ג׳ חלות דקות הנלושות בביצים ושמן ומעט מים - "I recall that every Friday they would make for him three small challos, kneaded with eggs, oil and a little water." Though that's not really a recipe as we'd think of it. Maybe a search for שאור would be more fruitful, if it's supposed to be a sourdough recipe? – Alex May 20 '12 at 16:15
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    @Alex Seems you hit it on the dot! See the answer below by the cookbook's author. – Double AA May 20 '12 at 16:30
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    @Dave: just browsing through the section on hilchos Shabbos - I figured that'd be a likely location. – Alex May 20 '12 at 18:15
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We never claimed that the recipe originated from the Terumas Hadeshen; that was the article author's own conclusion. What we said in the book was, "As early as the fifteenth century, it is recorded that every Friday evening the Austrian sage Rabbi Israel ben Petahiah Isserlein (1390-1460) welcomed Shabbes with “three fine hallot kneaded with eggs oil, and a little water.” This is a quotation from the Leket Yosher of Rabbi Joseph bar Moshe and is cited in Eat and be Satisfied by John Cooper (Aronson, 1993), p. 175.

Since commercial yeast was not invented until the late 19th cent. CE, the only leaven available at the time would have been wild yeast (sourdough).

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    Stanley, welcome to Mi.Yodeya and thank you for bringing your personal expertise here. You should consider registering your account to gain the full benefits of participating. I look forward to seeing you around! – Double AA May 20 '12 at 16:28
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    Stanley Ginsberg, welcome to Mi Yodeya and thanks for your authoritative correction to the premise of the question. Consider registering your account to gain the privileges associated therewith as you stick around the site. – WAF May 20 '12 at 16:32

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