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Best of Babka?

My friend recently tried Babka for the first time from Panera and thought it was tasty if a bit dry. I have never even ate it myself but we both agreed that there should hopefully be a place that does a better version of babka (or anything for that matter) than Panera. I told her I would look but nothing came up in the searches recently. Any recs I can pass on to my friend?

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  1. I buy my Babka each year from Green's bakery in NYC. They make it for Zabar's as well (where I used to get it), but it's the same exact thing and cheaper, if you order directly from Green's. I have not tried a better babka (and I've had it from Clear Flour, and other places. Here's the link.
    http://www.greensbabka.com/

    33 Replies
    1. re: kimfair1

      Definitely second this. Green's chocolate babka is the best.

      1. re: kimfair1

        Thanks for the tip. I LUV chocolate babka.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          The Greens brand is a VERY moist, VERY chocolatety babka. If you like the dry type, Green's may not be for you, but everyone I've introduced it to, loves it.

          1. re: kimfair1

            I like dry, I like moist, if it's a good babka (after all what am I chopped liver) I'll eat it.

        2. re: kimfair1

          Thanks for the link. One of the very first breads I ever made was babka - which was a great gift to my dad back then. He grew up eating his mom's (came from Poland & she baked everything under the sun - I think I got my love of baking from that side). But it's been years since he passed away (1989) and I haven't baked it in years. I know I could, but the kind I made requires a lot of arm strength - back in my teenage days I stirred the batter for AGES by hand... or a mixer. Since I don't have either now (lol), and i don't trust my willpower if I bought a mixer, I like having a good source for some babka.

          That said, if I ever get back to baking my own, I'll have to have a chow feast & invite some chowhound friends!! Never made chocolate, but the cinnamon one I used to made was to die for (and with all those eggs & butter... well, never mind).

          1. re: threedogs

            I love Green's Cinnamon Babka as much (or maybe a smidge more) than the chocolate. I buy a bunch for my co-workers around the holidays each year, and folks start coming up to me around Halloween asking me when "babka day" is coming. They all know it's not until near Christmas, yet everyone starts getting psyched for it months early.

            1. re: kimfair1

              KIMFAIR,you prob alrdy know this, but just in case, this from another unrelated thread:

              "Bob W May 14, 2014 08:02 AM
              Wegmans carries babka from Green's in Brooklyn. The chocolate is ridiculously good. The cinnamon is almost as good (but not quite, of course)."

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                I didn't know that. I'll have to see how much it is, and if it's less than buying from Green's directly (which is what I do now).

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  Thanks, OC. I'll be stopping by Northborough later today to get one!!!!

                  1. re: Science Chick

                    Science Chick - please come back and let us know how much they are, and whether they are the 1 lb or 1 1/2 pound loaves. Thanks!

                      1. re: Science Chick

                        I picked up a Green's Chocolate Babka at the Northborough Wegman's yesterday. They carry 24 oz size and have the cinnamon one as well, and also bags of their rugelah. It was VERY fresh and absolutely delicious. My DH was thrilled! So big and heavy, I decided to freeze half of it to prevent us from overindulging....

                        A little tough to find....their website says it is in the pacakged bakery section, but it isn't. Bakery person knew exactly where it was, though, and hand delevered me to the "kosher section", which is a free standing shelving unit between the natural foods and florist departments. Strange that they don't just have this shelving unit in the bakery department, but at least I know now.

                        1. re: Science Chick

                          It's also in the kosher section in Chestnut Hill.

                          1. re: Science Chick

                            Green's babka freezes very well. How much was the 24 oz loaf? The Green's website has them at $8.49 each. For my yearly work babka day, I usually buy the 16oz loaves (easier to cut for a big group. Green's sells those for $6.99.

                            1. re: kimfair1

                              Sorry, I was in such a rush to get home on a Friday night that I didn't even look. :( I'll see if I can root around and find my receipt, or a price tag on the half that is in the freezer....

                              1. re: Science Chick

                                No worries, I'm leaning towards buying the 16oz loaf from Green's anyway, but wished to know for my own purposes.

                                1. re: kimfair1

                                  Found the receipt!! It was $7.59 for the 24 oz. Not bad!! The online price directly from Green's is $8.49, before shipping!

                                    1. re: kimfair1

                                      ah ha, i see a burlington trip in your future!I think i'll get a loaf for my orange french toast. yumola!

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                        another thing to add to my Wegmans list too..Although a web search at Burlington Wegmans didn't show the babka, only the rugelach..So I am guessing those are good too?? Is the cinnamon just a mild touch or very cinnamony? Are the babkes and rugelach similar in flavor? And are these the rectangular or ring style babkes? And lastly, do either have nuts or not? thanx!

                                        1. re: chompie

                                          shewhochomps, this is a real question: you can do a web search to find all the products sold at Wegman's? Is that true of other stores too?

                                          You did catch that this babka discussion is about GREEN'S Babka, not a Wegman's made product? I've never had it; kimfair is one of the experts for your answers. But from what i understand, this form is the spiral one.It has sounded like most people prefer the cinnamon, but i am intrigued by the chocolate version because i want to use it for my orange french toast.
                                          further up in this thread, kimfair says:
                                          "It helps explain the vast variety in babka from the very bready, somewhat dry and nearly cinnamon or chocolate free, to more fillings, to loaded with them like a Green's. The prior for dinner, the latter, dessert. Like most of the time, I choose dessert."

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            Green's is a loaf style, very moist Babka. And, yes, Wegman's website you can search for individual products and it will tell you whether they carry it at a specific store, and where in the store to find it!

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                              OC, yes, I was definitely asking about the Greens (at Wegmans) and as Science Chick said, you just go to Wegmans,put in a zipcode and put in items and they give info, nutritionals, reviews and location in store. It s little addictive..Thanks also Kim Fair and Science Chicks for answers. The Greens descript says mild cinnamon but it did look like a ton to me, and I cant take a load of cinnamon so I guess I will opt for the chocolate or try another babke. I did see on Greens site that they have loafs AND rounds. I remember babke a bit different tha Greens and saw pics more reminiscent on Serious Eats review of Babkes, including Greens favorable review. It was lightly swirled with cinnamon, with raisins and strueselly on top.. Still wondering if anyone tried Blackers in Newton..

                                              1. re: chompie

                                                shewhochomps, is that just a wegman's feature or do other stores have it that you have used? thx.V. cool.

                                            2. re: chompie

                                              Chompie - I have not had the Green's rugelach, so I can't speak to them. The Green's babka is a loaf style, 24 oz, that is absolutely loaded with either cinnamon or chocolate. Here is a pic from the web of the cinnamon, the chocolate is similar in regads to the amount of chocolate.

                                               
                        2. re: opinionatedchef

                          Yes, the cinnamon is definitely a lesser babka.

                          Speaking of Polish babka, we ordered one at Cafe Polonia for the table to share, and out came what was literally one of those microwave "chocolate lava cakes", the kind with the molten filling of pudding lava that spills out when you break it. I was not expecting that. I guess that attests to the variety of babka out there...?

                          1. re: Prav

                            As I age, though I still love the Green's chocolate babka, their cinnamon has become my and my wife's preferred babka. I always think of the Seinfeld episode when I eat it, though, since he was so upset for having to settle on cinnamon!

                            1. re: kimfair1

                              He wasn't the one upset...it was Elaine.

                    1. re: kimfair1

                      kim, i've never tasted babka. It looks like the yeast based cinnamon swirl breads i see at produce stands.Very similar or a world of difference? Love the story of how you know it's Halloween time at work...!

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        Oh, it is really delish, op-c!! I used to make it on holidays way back, in my younger days. Only cinnamon in our half Polish house, though - never even heard of chocolate until Seinfeld.

                        The babka I made had lots of eggs, egg yolks, butter & milk in it - it is a wet dough, mixed with a mixer (or in my case, forever with a wooden spoon - seriously!) I put raisins in mine, and the cinnamon sugar on top... I was trying to replicate what my grandma I never knew used to make. Of course, you know there must be a million ways to make it - key is the airy, light dough (shouldn't be icky sweet - only slightly sweet). Cinnamon swirl breads wouldn't be as light, IMO.

                        1. re: threedogs

                          Yes, it is really more like a brioche! Most recipes will have you cream butter into the yeast dough

                        2. re: opinionatedchef

                          There are many different babkas. Some are light on the fillings, cinnamon or chocolate, with a drier base. The ones I love (and which are such a big treat at work) are from Green's Bakery in New York. Their babka is very moist, with thin layers of dough, layered with cinnamon or chocolate. Both are delicious, but the cinnamon is my favorite.Here's a picture of the Green's

                           
                          1. re: kimfair1

                            Yup. Just received a chocolate and cinnamon along with our Russ & Daughters Xmas order.

                      2. You could give a call to the Baltic European Deli in So. Boston: http://www.balticeuropeandeli.com/ or check to see if Berezka or Bazaar in Allston have it.

                        1. I haven't tried it (can anyone who has comment?) but I believe Rosenfeld's in Newton Center has babka, and I love their bagels and challah.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Kip McSkipster

                            FINALLY tried Rosenfeld's chocolate babka today. I don't have many other examples to compare it to, but in typical Rosenfeld's fashion, it was excellent. Bread part has a challah-like consistency (i.e. sufficiently moist, sweet but not too sweet). Also not overly sweet chocolate is folded in. The whole thing is topped with some kind of fine crumble, then drizzled with chocolate and icing. A real treat.

                          2. This thread is near and dear to my heart. I love baking babka and am happy to hear of these alternative options.

                            1. Hi-Rise Bread Co. does a tremendous Babka, but I would call for which day. I think Sunday, but not sure.

                              -----
                              Hi-Rise Bread Co
                              208 Concord Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: tatsu

                                I love this babka, too (they only have cinnamon, at least that I've seen). I think Sundays is right.