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30 before 30: Baking a Babka

Wow, I’ve only got a couple days til I run out of time on my 30 before 30 list! Sure, I didn’t hit some things, but I’ll get to them eventually.

Last weekend I had a super-fun time crossing off Item 26: Learn to Bake a Babka

My friend, Amy, of Straight from the Oven Bakery was my teacher for this adventure. I have to admit that for years I thought babka looked gross, and then I tried one she made, and thought “WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING FOR ALL THESE YEARS?”

Babka is a beloved Jewish dessert, that is a chocolate and cinnamon stuffed bread. It has a shortbread-like quality because it is stuffed with butter. My initial goal was to bake a babka (as in one), but a single recipe actually makes either 3 big loaves or 9 mini loaves. I ultimately went for 1 big loaf and six mini loaves. They freeze very well, but shamefully I only froze 2 of them. And we’re almost done with all the rest of them. Whoops.

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I’m glad I had such a great instructor for this activity.  The recipe for babka has about 9 steps, which is about 4 steps more than I’ll usually tolerate.  I have a very low threshold for baking effort.  Although baking took a few hours, the steps were not complicated, and the payoff was delectable.  It’s fair to say I’ll try this again.  Even though you have to invest a fair amount of effort, you get a ton of babka out of it, so this is perfect to bake if you are looking to make homemade gifts.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to help myself to another buttery slice of babka!

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