Last night I made an entire menu based on Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s wonderful new book Jerusalem (which I mentioned previously here more on all these cookbooks soon…). One of the two desserts I made was something they call Krantz Cakes, but that here in New York it is usually sold in Jewish deli’s and Bakeries as Babka. Calling them cakes seems to me a misnomer as they are in fact bread, typically a brioche/Challah type dough rolled with either chocolate or spiced sugar and nuts (maybe dried fruit). So on my menu board I called them Krantz Breads as a kind of compromise.
The process of making them (regardless of what you call them) seems at first daunting, but in reality they are pretty straight forward and more time consuming than anything else. I had a few minor “process” issues with the recipe – things like dough hook versus paddle (more on that in my next post), but really not significant and the end result was a delicious sweet bread that would be perfect served for lunch or late afternoon coffee or really just about anytime – Neil has some for breakfast today, then for an after breakfast snack then for a pre lunch snack – so your options are many.
I thought these pictures made a nice photo essay of the process and am going to post them no and will follow up tomorrow with the recipe.
The first picture is the dough just before it went into the Fridge for it’s overnight rest. Below my set up before start assembly the cakes/breads. The recipe called for putting wax paper on the bottom of the loaf pans I tried it two ways, having the parchment (not wax) hanging over the edges of the pan was way easier to remove and is how I would do it again. Ignore the clips I was just using them to hold back the paper so it didn’t get int the way.
Now you roll it up into a big cigar…Let the braiding begin! This was actually more fun than I expected and pretty easy, it was kind of messy but everything that fell out I just scooped up and sprinkle on top of the bread once it was in the pan. Once they are baked you coat them with an insane amount of sugar syrup, well it seemed excessive when I was doing it but then when I tasted them it seemed kind of blissful.