Dava's Mandel Bread
Updated: Apr 4, 2020
Mix by hand in large bowl:
*2/3 c. sugar
*2/3 c. oil
*add 4 jumbo eggs, one at a time, and mix together.
* Add: ½ t. vanilla
* ½ t. almond extract
In second bowl mix together:
*2-1/2 c. flour
*2-1/2 t. baking powder
*½ t. salt
* Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix by hand.
* Add 1 cup chopped walnuts
Place ingredients in greased (I use PAM) baking pan: you can use 3 metal ice cube trays, three mid-size aluminum loaf pans, or French bread loaf pans but they must have a closed ending.
Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour until the top is lightly browned.
Slice and place flat on cookie sheet. Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar mixture and “toast” at 200 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Turn, sprinkle the top and “toast” again.
Be sure they do not get too dry.
Dava's very special double-container pan.
My name is Dava Berkman I was raised in a small coal mining town in western Pennsylvania about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. We were the only Jewish family in town, and my father owned a grocery and meat store whose customers were the coal miners. It was not a very exciting or stimulating place to be raised, but that's where my parents lived.
People often ask me "how did they get to that small town"? My grandparents immigrated separately from Lithuania and met and married in Pittsburgh where my grandfather was a kosher butcher in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. My father's younger brother, my uncle Frank, was born with kidney disease and this was before the time of dialysis. The doctor told my grandmother that if she wanted her son to grow up, they should move away from Pittsburgh. At that time, around 1920, Pittsburgh was a filthy city with the smokestacks from the steel mills belching smoke and soot into the air.
My grandmother had a brother-in-law who was a peddler and he recommended the small town to my grandparents. So that's how we got to Bentleyville. When my father was young, there were a handful of Jewish families in town who owned small businesses.
My grandfather predeceased me and I was name for him. My grandmother was a fabulous person who was a great influence on my life. She was a fantastic cook, but I only have one of her recipes, for mandel brot, which I am providing here. I was young when she died and, unfortunately, didn't spend time in the kitchen with her learning how she cooked.