Baking: Babka

At Fine Bagels, we like to impress ourselves by making store-bought things. See: Hydrox Cookies and Rainbow Cookies. Since we suffer from something called “imposter syndrome,” we are pretty sure that we aren’t a real bakery despite evidence to the contrary. Still, everything has an upside, and because of this whole imposter syndrome, we delight in surprising ourselves with things that can pass themselves off as coming from real bakeries. And therefor tricking people. And therefor keeping up our bakery ruse for just a little bit longer. This is how we came to spend our Saturday night making babka.DSC_0827 (1)Babka is the best thing in the world. We can also now verify that it is effective for eating away pain, standing-in for human contact, and keeping you company better than a house cat but worse than a puppy.

Because our Georgia was pastry-neglected in childhood, she asked us what’s a babka. We told her it’s what happens when a rugelach (explitive)s a challah. Since she’s well-trained in that she can tell a rugelach from a challah, she knew this mule of the Jewish baking world was a good thing and showed appropriate enthusiasm.

We used the Smitten Kitchen via Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem recipe everyone is going on about. If no one else is afraid of this sticking to their hips for seven years, we’ll keep those feelings to ourselves. Here it is and here is it again. If you’re making this in Germany like us, use 405 Weizenmehl and cut down a bit on the instant yeast as ours behaved a bit more enthusiastically than the recipe indicated. Should we make this again, we’ll roll it a little thinner and twist it a little more to have even more chocolate ripples. The Smitten Kitchen suggestions to add cinnamon to the filling and to then chill the rolled logs in the freezer briefly before slicing were killer. Do it.

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