Lullabye Bread


A few years ago Ed and I were in Berlin and checked out KaDeWe, the city's famous department store that has the biggest food halls in Europe and maybe in the world. They sell every kind of food you can imagine. Gorgeous cakes and pastries. Bountiful, beautiful fruit. Different kinds of eggs, dairy products, chocolates. 

It was all familiar. Pineapples. Peaches. Sachertorte. Macarons. Freshly butchered chickens, and so on.

We stopped counting the different kinds of sausages after we reached 100. Apparently they sell sausages from every region in Germany. 

But we were there for lookin', not cookin' -- so, in the two hours we walked through this place it was more like a visit to an art gallery. 

But then we came to the bakery and there, in the case, was a beautiful, braided loaf called Hefezopf, which is like a challah, but with raisins and almonds.

It was a vision. All at once my mind filled with memories of a lovely shabbat challah mixed with grandma singing rozhinkes mit mandlen, that hauntingly beautiful, classic Yiddish lullabye.

Oh my. My eyes well up even thinking about it.

This was something I had to try at home and get right.

I did, but it took several tries. At first I used my challah recipe and sweetened it a bit, but that just tasted like sweeter challah. The consistency wasn't right.

After doing some research about Hefezopf I realized it was more like brioche -- dense, buttery, dairy-laden, so I started tinkering with my brioche recipe.


A taste is worth a thousand looks.

Try this. It's called Hefezopf, but like to call it Lullabye Bread.

Lullabye Bread (HEFEZOPF)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 3-inch piece of cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 2-inch strips of lemon peel
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3-1/2 cups all purpose flour, approximately
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup raisins, optional
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped almonds, optional


Lightly grease a baking sheet. Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick, lemon peel, butter and sugar cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until bubbles form around the edges of the pan and the mixture is hot. Set aside to cool to lukewarm (about 105-110 degrees). Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and whisk the ingredients to dissolve the yeast. Let rest for about 5 minutes or until thick bubbles form. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Remove the cinnamon stick pieces and lemon peel from the yeast mixture and pour the liquid into the mixer bowl. Add one egg and mix the dough with a dough hook for about 2 minutes. Add the raisins, if used, and mix for another 2 minutes or so, or until the dough is smooth. If the dough is sticky, add more flour as needed. (Kneading can be done in a food processor or by hand.) Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and cut it into 3 equal pieces. Working on a floured surface, roll the pieces to make strands of about 12-inches long. Braid the strands and place them on the baking sheet. Beat the remaining egg with one teaspoon water and brush the egg wash over the surface of the braid. Sprinkle with almonds, if used. Let rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Makes one bread

Veal Shoulder Roast with Shiitake Mushrooms, Rosemary and Thyme


As usual we bought too much smoked fish for our New Year's weekend. So, thanks to bagels, we've been slowly using up the salmon, whitefish, sablefish and herrings every day since. Thank goodness also that my husband doesn't complain about leftovers.

Besides, it was delicious and we don't often have smoked fish in the house.

But it's time to move on.

Need meat.

This veal shoulder roast is easy, nourishing and flavorful. A good cold weather dish too. And perfect for Shabbat.

It's nice with cooked egg noodles and roasted carrots.



  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 veal shoulder, about 3 pounds
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (about 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Soak the dried mushrooms, rinse them and cut them into shreds. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heatproof, ovenproof casserole over medium-high heat. Brown the meat on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side). Remove the meat to a dish and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until lightly golden. Return the meat to the pan. Season with the rosemary, thyme and pepper. Pour in the wine. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Bake for about 1-1/2 hours or until tender.


Makes 4 servings

Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage

For me, Stuffed Cabbage is like hot dogs, blooming onions and caramel corn. Foods I love to eat but don’t, except for once a year because once I take that first bite I over indulge and stuff myself and then feel awful the next day.

Right now is Stuffed Cabbage time.

I never actually tasted stuffed cabbage until after I was married. It was something the women in my husband Ed’s family would cook. My grandmother made Stuffed Grape Leaves, which are similar, but the leaves are tangier and her sauce more sour than the typical one for Stuffed Cabbage.

Over the years I tried to develop a recipe that Ed would like and later, would appeal to my sons-in-law, who like the dish sweeter than I was used to. This year I got it right, according to everyone in the extended family, and that’s saying a lot because we are an opinionated bunch.

Here’s the recipe:

Stuffed Cabbage

  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup raw white rice
  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal or plain bread crumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 12-ounce bottle chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot half filled with water to a boil. Cut out the hard center cabbage core. Remove the large cabbage leaves. Place the cabbage leaves plus the smaller remaining cabbage in the boiling water. Cook the cabbage leaves for about 3 minutes, or until they wilt. Cook the remaining cabbage core for 3-5 more minutes, or until you can easily remove the leaves. Cut off the hard stem portions from the large leaves so that they can be rolled easily. Set the leaves aside.

ALTERNATELY: if you plan ahead you can freeze the entire head of cabbage for 24 hours (or more). Thaw the cabbage and the leaves will already be wilted and you can avoid cooking them.

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, grated onion, egg, rice, matzo meal and salt and pepper to taste. Place a mound of this mixture in the center of each leaf (more on the larger leaves of course). Enclose the meat by wrapping the cabbage leaves, envelope style. Place the stuffed cabbage leaves, seam side down, in deep baking dishes. (I separate the large rolls and smaller ones.)

Heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the brown sugar, chili sauce, lemon juice and raisins and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover the pan. Bake for 2 hours (or, to cook ahead, bake for one hour, freeze, thaw and bake for an additional hour).

Makes 18-24