2013 Gift Guide: Day Thirteen

December 7, 2013

I was introduced to Hot Bread Kitchen through their wonderful tortillas: handmade with stone-ground organic corn, they're like no tortillas I’ve encountered before. Deliciously resilient, they actually taste like corn.

The tortillas became such a staple in my house that I began sniffing around, trying to find out who was making them. That's when I discovered that Hot Bread Kitchen is more than a bakery; it’s an enterprise dedicated to giving low-income immigrant women professional experience.  The breads, which are inspired by the native countries of the bakers, are merely the starting point of a very ambitious program of scholarships and job placement. (Some of their trainees have gone on to work at instututions like Daniel.) But this is a two-way street; part of Hot Bread Kitchen’s mission is introducing Americans to a whole new world of breads.

The breads themselves are wonderful.  One of my favorites is

Moroccan M’smen,

thin, floppy, flaky flat breads that have the texture of butterfly wings and the flavor of butter. 

Persian Nan-E Qandi,

a sweet bread made with milk and honey, is a perfect afternoon snack.

Their crisp Armenian Lavash crackers

have real crunch when you take a bite.

And this time of year they’re making traditional German Christmas Stollen

filled with dried fruit and nuts. The layer of marzipan running through this sweet bread keeps it moist and tender.

Their Global Bread Box, containing all four breads makes a wonderful Christmas present. (The breads all freeze well.)  At $70 it’s more than just another silly gift: it's a fine way to welcome new citizens to our country.  




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