Kringle Recipe - Danish Kringle Recipe
Kringle History - Kringle Recipe - How To Make Kringles


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History of Kringles

Kringles are butter-layered Danish pastries that were first introduced to Racine, Wisconsin in the late 1800s by immigrant Danish bakers. In Denmark, they are traditionally pretzel-shaped, almond-filled coffee cakes called Wienerbroth (Viennese bread). At one time Racine was home to more Danes than anywhere else in the country and as a result there are more Kringler shops in Racine than you'll find anywhere else.

The kringles were created by German bakers from Austria who introduced their method of rolling butter between layers of yeast dough and letting it rest for hours before baking. When Danish bakers in Copenhagen went on strike, the bakery owners fired them and hired replacements from Austria. Once the Danish bakers returned to their jobs, they continued to make dough the Austrian way.

It’s the shape of a kringle (pretzel-shaped) in Denmark, which is the Danish sign for a bakery (hence the name kringle). Outside every bakery in Denmark, you will find a sign with a kringle on it. A kringle is not only the dough, as it can be made of different types of dough.

Photo on the left is the symbol of a kringle which is displayed outside all Danish bakers. The kringle symbol is one of the few ancient guild signs still being used


 

Over the years, a variety of fruit and nut fillings were added, and in the United States (not Denmark), the pretzel shape was changed to its present oval shape to eliminate the unfilled, overlapping parts.

Kringle

Kringle

This photo of the Kringle was shared with me by my sister, Carol Arroyo, and her website called The Baking Pan Carol originally tested this recipe for my cookbook, I'll Have What They're Having - Legendary Local Cuisine.

Racine, Wisconsin oval-shaped Danish Kringle


True kringles are very labor intensive and can take up to three days to prepare, as they are made with up to thirty layers of delicate pastry dough. the challenge for a kringle baker is to roll butter thinly between several layers of yeast-raised dough. According to kringle bakers, you must roll very slowly to make the layers thinner. The traditional Racine bakeries offer a flat, oval kringle. The best places to enjoy kringles are in the bakeries in Racine.

Racine, Wisconsin, is known as the "most Danish city in America." One of its favorite Danish treats is the kringle. There is a story (or folk tale) about one resident:

Lars Larson, was on his deathbed in an upstairs bedroom. His doctor had said Lars would last for only a matter of hours. Lars woke from a deep sleep and sniffed. His wife must have just returned from the bakery, and the aroma of freshly baked kringles bought a spark to Lars. He whispered, "If I could just have a taste of kringle before I die, it would make my dying sweeter."

He mustered every ounce of strength and got out of bed. Slowly he made his way downstairs and into the kitchen. there he spied two kringles on the counter. Just as he was reaching out to take a piece, his wife swatted his hand away. "Stop that," she said. "We're saving these for the funeral."

Are you interested in purchasing and tasting an authentic Kringle made at a Racine bakery in Wisconsin? Check our What's Cooking America's Gourmet Food Store to purchase one.

 


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Kringle Recipe

Although this recipe does not require the tedious process of rolling out layers of butter and dough, as is done in the Racine Kringle bakeries, the result is similar and very, very good (in fact fantastic).

Recipe Type: Yeast Bread, Cake
Cuisine: Danish
Yields: 2 Kringles
Prep time: 1 hr
Cook time: 20 min


Ingredients:

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degree F. to 115 degree F.)
1/2 cup cold butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm milk (110 deg. to 115 deg.)
1 egg beaten
Nut Filling (recipe follows)
Glaze (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts


Preparation:

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.

Using a pastry blender or two knives, in a large bowl, cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Add yeast mixture, sugar, warm milk, and egg; beat until smooth (dough will be very soft). Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but not more than 24 hours.

When ready to use, remove from refrigerator. Punch dough down and divide in half; return other half to refrigerator. On a well-floured board, working quickly before dough softens, roll into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle, approximately 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick (if dough gets too warm from handling, return to refrigerator).

Spread half of the prepared Nut Filling down the center of the rolled-out dough rectangle in a 2-inch strip. fold sides of dough over filling, overlapping 1 1/2 inches; pinch edges to seal.

Oval Shape: Form roll into a circle and pinch ends together. Place seam side down on a large greased baking sheet. Repeat same process with remaining dough and filling. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until double in size.

Pretzel Shape: Lift the filled roll from both ends firmly and center the middle of the roll onto the baking sheet as if you were forming a circle. Pull the ends of the roll so that they make a cross above the roll, then pull the ends down and tuck the ends under the top part of the roll so that the ends stick out from under the roll.

Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place approximately 30 minutes or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

After the dough has risen, bake approximately 20 minutes until golden brown or when the internal temperature registers approximately 205 to 209 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer.

This is the type of cooking thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.

Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Spread prepared Glaze over the warm Kringle. Sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts. Serve Kringles warm or at room temperature.

To re-warm, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Slide a whole, uncut Kringle onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cover loosely with a large piece of aluminum foil and heat for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove aluminum foil before slicing.

Makes 2 Kringles (each serves 10 to 12).


Nut Filling:

1 1/2 cups finely-chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

In a large bowl, combine pecans or walnuts, brown sugar, and butter.


Glaze:
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
4 to 5 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, water, and vanilla.

 


 


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