- Breads Bakery
18 E. 16th St., nr. Union Sq. W.; 212-633-2253
Babka may have been born in Central Europe, but there is likely no country more besotted with the stuff than Israel, where it’s known as “krantz cake.” The sweet yeast bread is taken so seriously there, in fact, that when Israel-born, Denmark-trained Uri Scheft opened his first bakery in Tel Aviv a decade ago, he brought a flour-dusted babka maven out of krantz-cake retirement to not only teach him the intricacies of the rolled and braided loaf, but to return every year for quality-control spot checks. For the launch of his American outpost, Scheft has tweaked his recipe only slightly, using cultured butter from France and spreading his laminated dough with a mixture of Nutella and Belgian dark-chocolate chips. As soon as the babkas emerge from the oven, which they do at least three times a day, Scheft’s team bathes them in sugar syrup, ensuring a crisp, burnished crust and a rich, chocolate-veined interior that remains tantalizingly moist for days ($9.95).
Best Chocolate Babka
From the 2013 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).