Confession: I’ve never attempted a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe. This is not to say that I’m not familiar with his work. In fact, I’ve been dreaming feverishly about his chocolate krantz cake, or chocolate babka, ever since I laid eyes on it via Seven Spoons.
Those buttery swirls of yeasty bread! Those pockets of melted chocolate! I’d never heard of babka, but it looked like pastry perfection. Unfortunately, I soon realized that I couldn’t hope to reproduce such a dish — not without a stand mixer and much more baking experience and patience than I currently possess.
Lucky for me, one of my job perks is that we have a farmers’ market on site every Wednesday. Imagine my excitement when I saw chocolate babka, front and center, at one of the stalls. This morning, I purchased half a loaf (still faintly warm from the oven) and blissfully devoured it with my officemates. The recipe may not have been Ottolenghi-developed, but it was everything I’d imagined it’d be: buttery, flaky, yeasty, faintly sweet and decadently chocolate-y.
Not five minutes after I finished inhaling my slice, I returned to the stall to find out how I could always ensure babka accessibility in my life. Eleanor McSherry’s Hapax Bread is a tiny local operation that works out of a commissioned kitchen in San Francisco. The bakery is mostly delivery-based, but it also makes appearances at a few farmers’ markets in the city — very much worth tracking down.
Fillmore Farmers’ Market (Fillmore & O’Farrell): Saturdays 9am-1pm
San Francisco VA Farmers’ Market: Wednesdays 10am-2pm
P.S. I’ve realized how ironic it is that I’m posting this right after an entry about addiction to carbohydrates… but hey, life’s for living!