Category Archives: Kringle

Making Kringle…Again

A strip-style kringle is more of an American (or at least a Racine, Wisconsinite) thing, though reader Jo recently sent me a link to a picture of a Danish chocolate kringle that was done this way (thanks, Jo!). As you can see it’s a whole different presentation, and kinda cool in its own way. You simply lay out your dough piece and spread your filling down the middle. You may need to roll it a little wider, just so everything fits.

You fold the top third down…

…and the bottom third up.

I cut mine in half so it fit a bit better on the sheet, but a U-shape would have definitely been in-bounds. All you do at this point is paint it with egg wash, proof, paint and bake like a regular kringle.

About to here. I didn’t put on any topping obviously, but a little streusel would probably be a good call here.

I gotta admit, though chocolate isn’t traditional, it’s pretty darn good kringle.

Oh yes, darn good indeed….

Filed under:  Kringle, Pastry | 7 Comments

Making Kringle

Like a lot of sort-of laminated pastries, it’s hard to put your finger on just what it is that makes kringle so delicious. It’s not a croissant. It’s not a coffee cake. You think: it’s sort of like both of them but it has it own special, oh…I don’t know what. Then the plumped raisins and hints of cardamom kick in and well…you’re hooked.

Given the payoff it’s hard to believe you can put one of these together in as little as two hours…mixing to baking. A kringle is a great way to keep up on your laminating skills, or, if you’ve never laminated before, to get your feet wet without the pressure of wasting a lot of expensive butter. You need a mere six ounces to make two of these. Start by sifting the flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a beater (paddle). Add the sugar, salt and yeast. Stir it all on low to combine.

Meanwhile combine the room-temperature egg and milk in a small bowl or cup and give’em a stir.

Add one to the other and stir on medium for about 30 seconds.

You’ll have the beginnings of a dough. Switch to the hook and turn the machine on medium for about five minutes.

Meanwhile make your butter pat. Make two double layers of plastic wrap. Place the butter on one of them, spoon on about two tablespoons of flour…

…then apply the other.

Next, produce your rolling pin and do violence. I like this dowel-shape Chinese pin for the job. I pity the fool who’d try to break into my house while I was laminating dough. It’d be a slaughter. Flour and slivered almonds everywhere.

Start by just tapping the butter to get a feel for it…

Then begin to hit harder as the butter starts to flatten out. I should say here that most kringle recipes call for blending the flour and butter together in a processor, spreading it out to precise dimensions, refrigerating it, warming it slightly, etc….this is more direct, dirties fewer dishes and above all mirrors the technique for croissant dough, Danish dough and puff pastry. As I mentioned, it’s excellent practice for all of those.

So where was I? Oh yes, when the butter is pretty flat, use a bench scraper or butter knife to cut it into pieces and stack it up again.

Cover it…

…and repeat the beatings. Repeat this three times and the butter should be about where you want it.

Bam, bam, bam….tap, tap, tap. You can see I broke my first piece of plastic wrap. What happens when that happens? You make another one. See here that most of the flour has been worked in at this point.

Form the pat into a rough square by pressing the edges up against the pin like so.

And there you have it.

The texture should be quite plastic. Not too soft, but malleable. It’s the flour that helps the butter keep this texture while you roll it. As I mentioned earlier this week, it’s a great insulator.

Once that’s done your dough should be ready.

Treat it with similar brutality…bam, bam bam.

And roll it out into a roughly 9″ circle.

Promptly plop the butter pat in the center.

Pull the edges around to enclose the pat…

…squeeze the edges closed and, once again, give it a little roughing up.

Hit the packet in the center, then whack outward to drive the butter to the edges. Rotate the package a quarter turn and repeat. You should be able to feel the butter out there:

So OK. Dust the work surface lightly with flour and roll the packet out to about 10″ x 20″. A bigger pin is better here as it’ll give you more leverage…if you know what I mean.

Fold in one side…

…then the other. Rest the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes, repeat the rolling folding steps, then rest the dough another 15 minutes. Or you can leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to shape and bake. It’ll keep for about 3 days.

When you’re ready to shape, dust the work surface with flour and roll it to about 12″ x 24″. Again, use your biggest pin for this job. I traded up to my big, fat, 18-incher since it makes the whole rolling process easier. Check regularly to make sure the bottom isn’t sticking to the board. If so, or if some butter is protruding out, don’t fear. Apply more flour and carry on.

Cut it lengthwise with a pizza cutter.

Fold up one of the pieces and put it away for later (this recipe makes 2).

Spread your filling (in this case it’s raisin filling) on half.

Roll the whole thing up.

Position it seam-side down…

…then roll the thing with the pin. It should be about 30 inches long when you’re done.

Shape that as you like — a pretzel is traditional, at least if you live in Denmark. Paint it with egg wash and let it proof for 30 minutes (50-60 if the dough was chilled prior to rolling.

After the proofing, paint more egg wash on it and sprinkle sliced almonds or streusel all over it. Bake it for 20-25 minutes until golden.

There will be some cracking. Cover the cracks with more almonds or drizzle on some icing!

Oh yeah, that’s it: pastry the Chicago way. And while I normally don’t advocate baker-on-dough violence of the kind I showed you today, I have to say that in this case the ends justify the means.

Filed under:  Kringle, Pastry | 31 Comments

Kringle Recipe

Kringle is what some of us in the States might call a coffee cake. It’s a thick, knot-shaped pastry made from a (slightly) laminated dough and filled with…well, just about whatever you like (see “Fillings” under the Pastry Components menu), though I should say that raisin or almond cream filling is traditional. The formula goes something like this. It makes enough for two kringles.

1 lb. (3 cups) all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature
8 ounces (1 cup) milk, room temperature
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter
a few tablespoons all-purpose flour
egg wash
streusel and/or nuts for topping

First make the dough. Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Add the yeast, sugar and salt and stir the dry ingredients on low. Meanwhile in a separate bowl beat the egg, then add the milk. Stir until all the ingredients are moistened and a dough starts to form. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium 3-5 minutes until a smooth dough forms. Meanwhile make the butter block.

Place the butter on top of a double layer of plastic wrap, sprinkle the flour on top, cover with another double layer of plastic, and pound it with a rolling pin to soften it and incorporate the flour. Shape the butter into a rough square about 5″ x 5″.

When the dough is ready, remove it from the mixer and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll/pat it into a rough square about the size of the butter block. Place the butter in the center of the dough square at a 45-degree angle. Grab the corners of the dough square and stretch them around to the center to enclose the butter. Pinch the dough closed then pound the dough/butter envelope with a rolling pin to flatten it and distribute the butter.

Roll the envelope out to about 10″ x 20″. Fold one of the long sides in toward the center, then fold the other side over the top to complete a “letter” turn. Rest the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes, then do another letter turn. Rest the dough again for about 15 minutes.

Roll the dough out into a longer rectangle about 12″ x 24″. With a pizza cutter cut the dough in half length-wise. Fold up one piece of dough and put it in the refrigerator. Spread the filling of your choice down the edge of the other. Paint egg wash down the opposite edge. Roll the dough up into a tube. With the seam-side down, flatten the tube with a rolling pin. It should be about 30 inches long. Lay the kringle on a sheet pan curling it in whatever directions you like to get it to fit (kringle is like strudel in that regard). Paint it with egg wash. Repeat with the other piece if you wish (or freeze it for later use).

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. After half an hour (by which time the oven should be hot and the kringle risen), paint on more egg wash and sprinkle on some streusel. Bake the kringle for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Filed under:  Kringle, Pastry | 25 Comments