I first heard about babka on an episode of Seinfeld few years ago and made a mental note to try this bread with the cutest name on the planet. Seriously, I'm going to name my next dog exactly that. Or maybe my firstborn. Anyways, a few years later I happened to be in a bakery in New York when I spotted the prettiest braid made of bread and chocolate, gleaming proudly back at me. I leaned in to read the name and lo and behold, it was the mighty babka! I immediately ordered a slice and inhaled it in less than 30 seconds and went back for more. It was kind of amazing.
Babka is a sweet leavened bread swirled with chocolate, cinnamon and nuts or a combination of the three, originating from Eastern Europe. Babka is also a rude name for a grandmother or an old woman in Polish. Honestly, I'm going to force my future grandchildren to call me just that. Seriously, how cute is that?!
I have made babkas numerous times since tasting it in New York and always with the best results. A rich buttery dough paired with cinnamon or chocolate is a hard combination to beat. Most Indians have not heard of babka if they haven't spend time in Europe or America but every single one of them loves it (after they taste it, of course)
I followed a few recipes and finally ended up with a loaf that was rich, layered with chocolate, cinnamon and pecans and topped with streusel. If you want a fun baking project, this one is perfect to make it over two days. And the end result is worth the wait.