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How Green’s Bakery Makes The Most Legendary Babka | Legendary Eats


Medha Imam: You may not
recognize Green’s Bakery by name, but peek into the baked-goods aisle of your local Whole Foods or Wegmans, and you will see this. Loaves upon loaves of an
iconic New York treat, a bread-cake hybrid called babka. Jerry Seinfeld: That’s the last babka. They got the last babka. Elaine Benes: I know. They’re going in first
with the last babka. Seinfeld: That was our babka. Elaine: You can’t beat a babka! Seinfeld: We had that babka! Medha: Green’s Bakery is one spot that’s selling its babka
all over New York City. Marc Fintz: If you go
anywhere in the country, if people know anything about babka, or you say the word babka, they’re gonna think about Green’s, and they’re gonna think
about New York City. Medha: Green’s Bakery
is a third-generation family-run business based in Brooklyn. It’s actually New York’s
biggest babka wholesaler, and it sells its legendary babka to some of the most iconic
delis and markets in the city, some who replace Green’s
packaging with their own. Marc: Whether it has our name or not, you’re gonna find that it’s Green’s babka. Medha: So if you’ve ever bought a loaf of babka in New York City, there’s a high chance
it came from Green’s. The 70-year-old business produces roughly 4,000 loaves a day, six days a week. Its babka comes in two flavors: chocolate and cinnamon, with chocolate babka
being the best seller. From a basement kitchen to a factory, we’re here in Brooklyn to
get a behind-the-scenes look at how Green’s Bakery turned its babka into a legendary institution. Green’s bakery was born from the traditional recipes of Chana Green, a Holocaust survivor who came to the United States from Hungary after World War II. When she brought her
family to the US in 1948, her sweet, braided babka
recipe also came in tow. Chana Green started off
making babka for just friends and family when she first
moved to the Lower East Side. Then, Green began selling her treat at her son-in-law’s restaurant, called Green & Ackerman,
in Williamsburg in 1980 as a dessert called kokosh cake. Customers and neighbors
fell in love with her cake, requesting it nonstop. Marc: She was not really
thinking of it as a business; she was thinking of it as
a way to help the people in the neighborhood and share her love. Her son would go to the local supermarket and take empty boxes and bring them back so that she could deliver
them to the people. And all of a sudden, it became the basis and the format for a business model. Medha: After 10 years of fulfilling orders from the basement of the restaurant, Green’s family decided
to relocate to Brooklyn in 1991 and opened for business. Marc: The babka that you’re
gonna eat today from Green’s is gonna be the same babka that you would’ve eaten 50
years ago from Green’s. It’s the family recipe. It’s the same product that Chana Green was making in her kitchen
on the Lower East Side. Medha: Over the past few years, Green’s has expanded its inventory to include other Jewish and
Eastern European pastries, like rugelach and honey cakes. But it truly was its staple item that paved the way for its success: its traditional homestyle babka. Babka starts off with simple ingredients, like sugar, flour, oil, water, and eggs, and there’s absolutely no butter or dairy. The ingredients are all mixed together, kneaded, and shaped into dough balls. Green’s babka is made in two ways: by machine and by hand. First, the dough is
flattened out in a sheeter. Once the dough is at the right thickness, it is inserted into an automatic
pastry production line. Depending on the flavor of the babka, either liquid marble cocoa or cinnamon is sprinkled onto the dough. Then the wide slab of dough is cut in two and twisted into a roll. At the end, two workers braid the dough to form the legendary babka shape. Green’s workers package the products and prepare them to be
delivered to grocery stores, markets, and delis across
the city and the country. With the overwhelming scent of chocolate and cinnamon goodness
filling the bakery air, I couldn’t wait to get my
hands on the legendary babka. This is my first-ever
tasting of a chocolate babka. Now, that’s a beauty. You can taste the
crispiness of the outside of the dough that has been baking in that really traditional
oven back there, and then immediately you
are hit with the chocolate. And then this moist inside that just melts in your mouth. I could totally see myself eating this at breakfast with a cup of coffee. The cinnamon babka. That is wonderful. It’s, like, the perfect
amount of cinnamon, perfect amount of sweetness. I’m just so happy that
a woman name Chana Green came from Hungary, brought her own recipe to New York City, and has made it such a staple.

Norman Bunn

63 Comments

  1. this really is the best babka. ive tried others, homemade, theyre usually stingy on the chocolate or the pastry is too much. this is basically a vehicle for chocolate.

  2. Let your bubka age a day or two and make french toast with it "O-M-G". The Eastern European bakery in Worcester MA makes cherry bubka. Now that makes devine french toast.

  3. Ooh you finally re-upload this video completed with the background music. Good on you.

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  6. This video is like an ad for this american bakery. Babka originates from Poland and thats not even mentioned

  7. the cinamon roll we used to eat at our local backshop ist actually called babkha…ehehhehehee, maybe nyc taste better for they are the original

  8. I used to buy the cinnamon bread at the bakery near my home. The name was babkha. Interesting!!

  9. "…if you say the word "babka" theyre gonna think about greens and theyre gonna think about new york city" AHAHAHA no.

    what im thinking is Poland.

  10. I was able to get my hands on some here in California. I gave some to my elderly neighbor who never had it before, he threw up. I think because it's made with oil and not dairy, it was too rich for him. He thought I gave it to him because I didn't like it…..boy was he wrong. I really love this Babka but lately the chocolate is too rich for me as well.

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