Favorite Dishes #62: Breads Bakery's Chocolate Babka

Breads Bakery's chocolate babka
Breads Bakery's chocolate babka
Karen Tedesco, the Village Voice

It's hard to pin down the category in which to slot the sweet treat known as babka; is it a bread, pastry, cake — or something in between? The chocolate babka that emerges several times a day from the oven at Breads Bakery (18 East 16th Street; 212-633-2253) is a perfect storm of all of the above. The compact loaf has the heft of a newborn baby, and its lacquered crust boasts the deeply burnished color and crackle of a Peking duck.

Neither too sweet for snacking nor too humble for dessert, this babka is to ordinary yeast bread what a croissant is to an English muffin. And come to think of it, the combination of twisted, buttery dough — folded in a pleasing ratio to the inner coils of oozing, melting hazelnut-scented chocolate — has more in common with a decadent pain au chocolat from a French patisserie than a humble, comforting slice of coffee cake from your neighborhood Ukrainian bakery.

Karen Tedesco is the food editor at the Village Voice; follow Karen on Twitter @familystylefood and Instagram @familystylefood.

The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We're combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10.
Here's our countdown up to now:
#100: Laminated Blueberry Brioche at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
#99: Egg Shop's Golden Bucket Fried Chicken
#98: Ramen Lab's Torigara Shoyu
#97: Cannoli at Ferdinando's
#96: Breakfast Sandwich at Dimes
#95: Banana Royal at Eddie's Sweet Shop
#94: Fletcher's Burnt Ends
#93: Almayass's Mante
#92: Empellon Taqueria's Fish Taco
#91: El Rey's Sardine Tostada
#90: General Tso's Pig's Head at the Cannibal
#89: The Vegetarian at Meat Hook Sandwich Shop
#88: The 21 Club's Creamy Chicken Hash
#87: Deep-Fried Olives at Via Carota
#86: Pougi at Loi Estiatorio
#85: Shelsky's Hot Pastrami Sandwich
#85: Pearl & Ash's Smoked Bread with Chicken Butter
#84: Gluten-Free Pizza at Rossopomodoro
#83: Perry St's Chocolate Pudding With Candied Violets
#82: Whit's End's 'Fuckin' Bluefish Dip'
#81: Morgenstern's Salt and Pepper Pine Nut Ice Cream
#80: Levain Bakery's Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
#79: Delmar Pizzeria's Pizza
#78: Cafe Cluny's Avocado Toast
#77: Brooklyn Star's Cinnamon Bun
#76: Pork Belly Cotton Candy at Carnem
#75: Ippudo's Pork Buns
#74: Mission Chinese Food's Oil-Cured Anchovies
#73: Johnnycakes at LoLo's Seafood Shack
#72: The Starving Artists Steak at Belle Reve
#71: The Spotted Pig's Gnudi
#70: Xi'an Famous Foods' Tiger Vegetable Salad
#69: Crème Brûlée Truffle at Kee's Chocolates
#68: Pok Pok's Muu Paa Kham Wong
#67: Cacio e Pepe at Upland
#66: Pulpo at Toro
#65: Junior's Something Different
#64: Duck Carnitas at Cosme
#63: Banana Miso Ice Cream Sandwich at Neta

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Breads Bakery

18 E. 16th St.
New York, NY 10003

212-633-2253

www.breadsbakery.com


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