2019 - The year of the babka
Here at Liv Breads, we might call 2019 the year of the babka. (And rugelach!) When we opened in 2018 our focus was on all-natural, artisan sourdough loaves. While we knew how popular babka and rugelach are here on the east coast, we never expected to acquire such a following for these well-loved treats. Over 7000 babka and 18,000 rugelach were produced in 2019 and we are honored our unique baking method has become an obsession for many. While chocolate babka is by far the customer favorite, we’ve also produced cinnamon, cranberry-almond and strawberry over the past year. And we’re working on new flavors for 2020!
Our babka takes two days and multiple steps to prepare. We start with a rich laminated Danish dough (lamination refers to the process of layering dough with butter to create wonderfully flaky layers), that is spread with filling, rolled, cut, and then twisted into our custom-branded panibois (a biodegradable wooden baking pan). The shaped bakas rise overnight, are baked in the morning and then glazed with sugar syrup, cooled and wrapped up.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about our babka.
Q: Do you bake fresh babka every day?
A: Yes! And while we understand there’s nothing quite like a babka straight from the oven, our babka are delicious for 2 to 3 days from date of purchase.
Q: Why do you sometimes sell out of babka?
A: We watch our babka supply very carefully and bake more when when running low. Babkas take a few hours to proof, bake, cool, and pack. And, we can never control that customer who comes in and purchases 15 babkas at once! (Yes, that has happened!) We strive to find a balance between having enough babka on the shelf for all who wish to purchase, without practicing wasteful practices. However, on those rare times there are babka that aren't sold (or any of our products), we have some wonderful relationships in place with local organizations who work with the food insecure population.
Q: How do I store my babka?
A: If you plan to eat your babka within two days of purchase we recommend storing it sealed on the counter. Never refrigerate your babka as it will dry out the dough. Your babka will still be delicious more than two-three days after purchase, however, you may find it dries out a bit, as with any freshly baked good without preservatives or enhancers. It is rare they last that long!
If you plan to eat your babka more than two days after purchase, we recommend freezing the babka and allowing it to thaw for a few hours on the counter before enjoying . You can always place it in a 300° oven for 10 minutes if you want to re-create that fresh-out-of-the-oven experience.
Q: Do you ship your babka?
A: We don't have a mail order program in place quite yet, but it's in the plans for 2020
Q: And...just why is your babka so special?
A: Our babka is made in our cool room in the back of our bakery. Our amazing pastry team spends hours laminating the Danish dough, spreading the filling, and proofing and baking the babka before you bring it home. Many babkas are prepared with a brioche dough which doesn't produce quite the same flaky layers and texture. Because we are an artisan bakery, our babka is prepared in small batches which allows us to control the process and the end product. We use the highest quality butter, flour, and other ingredients, and like all of our products, no enhancers or preservatives are used!