Kringle is a Scandinavian pastry which developed over the years into several kinds of sweet, salty or filled pastries. My Tante Lena makes her Kringle with a buttery Zwieback (yeast) dough and I still hope to one day get together with her to see her make them. For now - I have her recipe and two methods of rolling and shaping them.
This first method pictured is closer to the way she shapes them and since I was using one hand to hold the camera, I hope my explanation makes sense. I started off with pinching off evenly sized buns. Then I shaped the bun into a rectangle and rolled it into a snake about 12 inches long, just like kids do with play dough, using both hands. To get the twist I put one hand flat on top of the left side and the other on the right side, turning the roll counter clockwise and switching hands to keep going until the whole roll is twisted and easily turns into a circle.
This second variety is shaped more like a fat pretzel. Maybe a little easier.
I rolled the snake, shaped a lower case letter l, crossing one end over once again. Then I flipped the bottom part over onto the top part.
Now for the recipe:
- 2/3 cup butter melted
- 2 cups warm milk
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup warm water for dissolving traditional yeast or just to add if using instant yeast
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 5 cups flour
- Pour warm liquids, butter and salt into mixing bowl.
- Stir in 2 cups flour, then dissolved yeast mixture or instant yeast and sugar plus water.
- Add flour, stirring and kneading in the last bit to make a smooth dough. This can be mixed in a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook attachment or in a bread machine.
- Let rise on counter, away from draft, in a large bowl, covered with a tea towel and plastic bag for one hour.
- Pinch of buns and roll on counter into desired shapes. Yields 24 buns or Kringle.
- Let rise on greased pans for one hour. Bake at 400 F for about 18 minutes or until golden.
- Let cool on wire racks. Kringle are a beautiful addition to a meal, served with honey for coffee time or enjoy warmed up along with a cup of hot cocoa.