Before this week, I didn't realize that babka skeptics existed. "It doesn't do anything for me," Robyn said, staring blankly at the massive hunk of a loaf. She is part of a camp that believes babka is a walking identity crisis. Since it doesn't fit into the bread or cake worlds, it floats in some alter pastry universe—and because of this, satisfies no cravings. The smörgåsbord lover in me would argue, it satisfies a little of each.
Zaro's babka ($9.95) has an unruly powdered sugar-dusted hump that bursts out of the tin loaf pan. It's a beast, and crumbles into a gazillion crumbs when cut. Of course, babka is best ripped—and with this 2.34 pounder, you will be ripping apart the chocolate swirls for a while. Alaina made a good point: this would also be great toasted. (And Robyn became slightly more pro-babka entertaining the idea.)
Zaro's Bakery Various locations; zaro.com
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