You Say Krantz I Say Babka

IMG_1729 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.IMG_1730 IMG_1731 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.IMG_1732

IMG_1733 IMG_1734

IMG_1735Now you roll it up into a big cigar…IMG_1739Let 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.IMG_1737 IMG_1738  IMG_1740 IMG_1743 IMG_1745 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.IMG_1749

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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6 Responses to You Say Krantz I Say Babka

  1. Frank Canino says:

    However you call it, it looks delicious..i remember having some years ago ..but where?……….. do enjoy you posts..a nice moment in a boring or dismal day…. Still alive and well, the both of us.. Or some reasonable facsimile thereof.

    Hope to see you on my next visit to nyc





  2. Pingback: Sephardic Syrian Menu | Urbanfoodguy

  3. Ro Sykes says:

    Have you posted the recipe yet? Link please…

  4. Ro Sykes says:

    Silly me, just found it thanks!

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