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Babka Question: Would it be a sin...

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GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Babka Question: Would it be a sin...

I always try to follow the rules, except when there's a reason not to.  I'm going to make Babka for the first time.  Chocolate and Cinnamon.  I'm using Stan's recipe, from Glezer (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10196/all-that039s-left-chocolate-babka), as a guide.


My question is whether I would risk the wrath of the god of Jewish baking if I put chopped pecans in my Babka filling.  I've never seen a Babka recipe with nuts, but my wife thinks it would be a good idea, and I usually love, honor and obey her, as I promised to do so many years ago.  But if I'm going to commit some sort of religio-culinary misfeasance, I at least want to know in advance.  My moral compass is spinning.


Please help with any advice.


Glenn

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

It seems to me that it'd be a bigger sin *not* to try it... :)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Glenn.


Not only may you include pecans in a babka, but you may use babka dough to make pecan rolls.


In fact, Stan & Norm's much-anticipated book will include a recipe for the same. I've made them. I would not presume to speak for the gods of Jewish Baking, but I can attest to the blessings from the goddess of Jewish eating that flow from this option. They are the best! Well, maybe a close second to the pecan rolls from the late great Fantasia Bakery which were  made with danish pastry dough.


Please see Eight Distant Cousins?


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Based on your dispensation, I will go meshuga (nuts) with the Babka.


[yiddish smileyface]


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You will pay me in Babka?


David, delivering opening for duck puns at no extra charge.

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

If I pay you in Babka, that will make it tender.  If not, "Tough Babka!" (which, if it's not a direct translation of a common Yiddish epithet, certainly ought to be).


Glenn

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Glenn, glad you asked! 


Not being jewish,  seriously, would I offend anyone?  Or as you say, with your always great humor, 'the wrath of God'...gave me a little chuckle...something just like the Irish in me would say. 


Only yesterday I felt better about using babka formula/shapes.  I came across and read in Peter Reinhart's blog about babka and fillings, 'Russian' bread, ....I loved the use of croissant dough and how delicious...it's on my to do list...  Though I'm still not sure about using the round challah shape for any time of year or formula?


Sylvia 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

In my own opinion, The Jews are a people with lots of rules they like to break almost as much as they like to argue about them. Except for the deeply devout, only a few rules are truly sacrosanct (e.g., treat people with respect), and very few rules are sacrosanct that have to do with food (e.g., don't put mayonnaise on corned beef, but it's ok on a BLT).  Even those sacrosanct rules get broken.  We don't risk excommunication, only mild shunning by those who take such rules seriously (we also have a tradition of free thinking which, for some of us, makes the rule-breaking and associated shunning a sort of badge of honor).


As I reflect on it, I was gonna put those pecans in that Babka no matter what advice I got.  I just wanted to start a discussion.  I'm glad I did.


Glenn

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I feel much better.  One of my first challah's had milk in it and I was upset, thought I had done something terrible...until I did a little reading about jewish tradition. 


Sylvia 

Przytulanka's picture
Przytulanka

It`s not a sin to change a recipe it`s a creativity. Now I have a challah /braided bread in my oven and I don't feel guilty that it`s not kosher at all.


 I have never associated name Babka with Jewish tradition. Babka is very popular in Poland and is not necessarily made from yeasted dough. More popular is Babka piaskowa prepared with baking powder. It seems to be more like coffee cake. Babka -baked in bundt pan-is  a traditional cake for Easter. And for sure I have never seen a strusel on babka. It was a sugar-icing.


The recipe for chocolate Babka is drozdzowka, which I believe most of women (and a lot of men) in Poland can bake and learn the recipe from their mothers and grandmothers.


 And word babka in Polish has other meanings: grandmother, pretty girl or mud pie.


As You see Babka has many faces.


Happy baking!


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

For your instructive background information.


Well, Glenn, it seems perfectly fine to make your babka (grandmother, pretty girl or mud pie) nutty. 


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I think I'll put sausage and cheese in the dough for my first challah (I know it's gonna be misshapen anyway).


Thanks for the info and the encouragement, Przytuanka.


Glenn

arlo's picture
arlo

In the Culinary Institute of America baking textbook they have a great babka recipe with pecans. Looks phenomenal. I say give it a go.

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Thanks, Arlo.  They're out of the oven, nuts and all.  I haven't sliced into one yet, but they look and smell heavenly.  Couldn't possibly be a sin, now that I smell it.


Glenn

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Isn't anything you enjoy a sin?

belfiore's picture
belfiore

is called Catholic Guilt...lol. For me, when it comes to bread, it's "Bless me Father for I have sinned"...!!!


Toni

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I enjoy parking legally in an available parking space on Clement Street.  That's not a sin.  It hardly ever happens, but it's not a sin.


I'm sure I could think of others.


Glenn

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

That doesn't sound as much fun as baking (where is Clement Street?).  Personally I think most of what I really enjoy is deemed sinful by some organisation or another after all, I don't own a Porsche for the joy of parking it.  I am also sure that my diet (which includes too much bread, wine, cheese, meat etc) is classified as sinful (or bad by some august medical body).  Sometimes we need to push the boundaries, it is only then that we learn if they really are boundaries or just some other person's interpretation of a boundary.  Damn!  That sounds too philosophical - I better go off and plan my next baking session:)

belfiore's picture
belfiore

better to seek forgiveness than ask permission...kinda like Glenn's rules following motto...heehee


Toni