A few weeks ago, I proposed as a really satisfying weekend project. People seemed to be into that, and, based on all the questions I’ve been getting since then, your interest in baking is not going away any time soon. So, why mess with a good thing?
I would argue that Bialys deserve a spot in the pantheon of Eastern European Jewish baked goods, but that’s probably a minority opinion. Chocolate Babka, on the other hand, is likely the undisputed king. People go wild for this stuff, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a rich, eggy, buttery loaf with generous swirls of chocolate, and once you’ve had it, it’s the kind of bread that instills lifelong cravings.
But I’d like to focus on the “generous swirls of chocolate” part for a second. In my experience, most commercially produced babkas, even the ones with the most devout followings, are not actually that generous with the chocolate. For me, those loaves wind up tasting a little too dry. I want some density in my babka, and this version is no lightweight (I’ve never actually checked how heavy it is, but let’s just say it’s not svelte).
The trickiest thing about making babka is shaping it, but the illustrations in the recipe below should guide you through that without any trouble. As for the final product, unless you’re truly committed, this is not the kind of thing you’re likely to eat in one sitting. But it keeps nicely in the fridge and freezer, so if you exercise a little restraint, it can last you a while. I sometimes like to warm up the slices so the chocolate melts slightly, and have even been known to “garnish” it with some vanilla ice cream. As long as you don’t skimp on the chocolate, what you do with your babka is entirely up to you. See you Tuesday.
Talk To Me, Goose!
Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma’s potato salad, or your mom’s meatloaf, or your uncle Drew’s three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.
We produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.