Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Sugar Box Baker

Le Journal de Montreal is giving Kosher a bad name by publishing headlines that downgrade local Kosher eateries and bakeries. Not cool!  I see a bigger picture here. When it comes to Kosher bashing, I got its back... they're messing with the wrong mama. I won't let them put our Kosher spirits down!

NO WAY!  More so, I will continue to SHARE the Joys of Kosher in Montreal! I will OVERCOME their kosher harassment! I will continue to CELEBRATE local kosher cuisine! I will climb-up Mount-Royal and shout "SHOW ME THE KOSHER $^&%*$@!"...um on second thought, that's weird - won't do that. 

But I will continue to feature the amazing people who not only elevate kosher or bring Kosher sweetness into the world, but do so while raising a "gang" of beautiful children. Today's post will feature one of my favorite bakers (and high school classmate), Sabrina, AKA The Sugar Box Baker.

S.B. Beautiful home garden filled with herbs, peppers, tomatoes..





I thought I was living a busy life until I entered Sabrina's kitchen. This mother of six children, is not only a household manager, chauffeur, housewife, but more so, she's a self-taught professional home-baker who sells stunning kosher cakes, cookies, cupcakes and other pastries for all of us to enjoy. Power to her!


A glimpse of  some of The Sugar Box's creations. On the bottom second to left, is Sabrina's most challenging cake,
The Seinfeld Topsy Turvy cake.

Though she prides herself as a cook rather than a baker, Sabrina's baking journey began a few years back after she baked her first cake, an M&M one for her cousin's birthday. The family raved and then
voilà, her cake gave light to a new baking business, The Sugar Box.

Sabrina proceeds with hafrashat challah custom. 

UP-CLOSE WITH THE SUGAR BOX BAKER

To see more of her creations visit her Facebook page. I had a chance to ask Sabrina's impressions on Montreal Kosher food, and life, here is what she had to say:

L.P. What food would you like to see made Kosher in Montreal?
S.B.: So many things! More meat choices, as in better cuts, hormone-free and artisanal sausages. Also, more accessible chalav yisroel quality products such as better ice cream and cheeses all year long (not just Passover lol). I could go on and on...

L.P.: If you can bake a cake for anybody, who would it be and why?
S.B.: My grandfather. He was a truly gifted artist of his own right. He was a jeweler who made everything by hand and I would be proud to show him that I too found my artistic side.

L.P. What is your favorite part about raising a family of 6?
S.B.: The noise and the laughter.

L.P.: What is your favorite Shabbat dish?
S.B.: My grand mother's stuffed red snapper with potatoes topped with caramelized tomatoes and crispy lemons. Yum! Yum! Yum!

L.P.: Your favorite quote is...
S.B.: Gam zo le'tova meaning "this too is for the good." ~ Talmud 

L.P.: What's your most unique cake you decorated
S.B.: I have a whole bunch of favorite cakes... Each time I push myself to do something new and challenging, and I succeed... that cake becomes a new favorite. My most challenging cake, by far, is my Seinfeld topsy turvy. 

Sabrina braids her Challah.... look at these beauties!
Every Thursday or Friday, Sabrina bakes her Challah for Shabbat, "No matter how busy I am, I make sure I bake my Challah for the blessing and mitzvah, its more important than the meal because I find that the following week flows much better after I bake." Here is Sabrina's favorite challah recipe, it's based on Rebbetzin Kanievsky’s recipe published in the Bais Ya'akov school cookbook. 

Lets all remember, no matter the negative portrayal of Kosher in the media,  we take pride in our values, the joy and spirit of keeping Kosher homes, baking our weekly challah, cooking for our families, this is at our core, something we can most definitely all be proud of. 


INGREDIENTS Yield: 6-10 challot
  • 6 cups very warm water
  • 4 tbsp. of quick rise dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups of sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tbsp. salt
  • 5 pounds flour (a 2.5 kg bag)
  • egg wash for glazing
  • Topping
6 strand challah breading & her family's favorite Challah topping
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Mix water, yeast and sugar till bubbly.
  2. Add oil, egg and salt stir
  3. Add flour a little bit at a time let the dough rest about 5 minutes and then knead for about 10 minutes.
  4. Cover in plastic wrap (or big plastic bag) and let rise until almost double the volume
    (about half an hour to forty five minutes)
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  6. Proceed with Hafrashat Challah
  7. Grease 5 to 6 loaf pans, depending on the size you prefer) and braid your challah.
  8. Cover again with plastic bag until well risen (about 45 minutes).
  9. Glaze with egg wash and your choice of topping. 
  10. Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 30 minutes

For more info visit The Sugarbox Montreal Facebook Page.