Buttery babka. Fluffy challah. Delicious black and white cookies. This is what Austin’s perhaps first dedicated Jewish bakery service, Top Nosh Bakery, has put together in a year from owner and baker Lauren Brink.
Brink’s bespoke Jewish baked goods and desserts are made from recipes from her husband David’s great-grandmother. Before she started the service, she had baked on her own anyway, figured out these processes and practiced them. “My first challah bread was a real nightmare,” she shares.
In 2019, Brink was preparing for the Christmas baking season when her husband suggested she sell her baked goods to the public. She was ready, because she felt she could help fill a void in Austin’s Jewish baked goods scene. She certified by the Texas Cottage Food Law and launched Top Nosh, then Better Than Bubbe’s in December; she renamed it in late summer.
Top Nosh’s menu includes Jewish bread, including sweet and savory challah (usually served during the holidays) such as plain, poppy seeds, garlic, and herbs. There are also a range of challah’s sweeter cousin – babka – from chocolate to strawberry to apple-cinnamon, as well as bagels (anything, cinnamon-raisin, sesame, etc.).
Challah from Top Nosh Top Nosh [Official]
Top Nosh’s desserts include cakes (honey, peach, and Jewish apple), donuts (cider and blueberry), and cupcakes. The biscuit spread is also strong and offers everything from black and white to Hamantaschens (triangular biscuits with fillings) to Kugelach (rolled, filled biscuits).
Brink wanted to make sure she was taking care of various diets and allergies and modified the recipes to offer vegan and gluten-free products. “The development of vegan bagels and challah was really a puzzle, along with a lot of trial and error,” she says. In the end, she used various coconut products “because the taste is not overwhelming and it is light enough that the dough rises very well and stays soft after baking,” she describes.
Since Hanukkah started this week, Brink has been offering various specials, including the holiday dessert Sufganiyot (jelly donuts). There are also apple fritters, fingerprint sprinkler biscuits, and Christmas cookie packets with items such as apple and spice snickerdoodles and white chocolate made from red velvet.
When Brink launched Top Nosh last winter, her baked goods were available in various Austin markets, and she sometimes fulfilled direct orders via email or messaging. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she stopped this market service because the pedestrian traffic was not so heavy and she wanted to stay home more to mitigate viruses. She switched to direct pickups and online deliveries.
Brink helmets from southern New Jersey; She and her husband moved to Austin after high school. After all, Brink, who also has a full-time job, wants to open her own physical bakery or at least run a kitchen area in a café.
Top Nosh’s pick-up and contactless delivery orders can be placed online. For custom-made products, Brink welcomes direct messages via Instagram / Facebook or emails.