Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Cinnamon Kringle - Wonderfully Aromatic

Kringle is an Estonian pastry flavored with cinnamon that is usually baked around holidays or other celebrations

Kringle is an Estonian pastry flavored with cinnamon that is usually baked around holidays or other celebrations. It's a twisted sweet yeast bread shaped in circle with a soft interior and crusty top that will fill your kitchen with a lovely warm flavor. It's also rich, wonderfully aromatic and brilliant gold in appearance, perfect for the Christmas morning brunch along with a cup of coffee while opening the presents under the tree.

Kringle is an Estonian pastry flavored with cinnamon that is usually baked around holidays or other celebrations

The Kringle shape it's formed from rolling the dough in a log, then splitting it lengthwise and shaping it into a ring. This is where it gets its name, as the world kringle originates from the Olde Norse "kringla" meaning disk or circle. And did you know Santa Claus is sometimes refereed to as Kris Kringle?

Kringle is an Estonian pastry flavored with cinnamon that is usually baked around holidays or other celebrations

Despite the complex look, this Christmas Kringle recipe is simple and easy, uses just common ingredients and yet the result is incredibly tasty. I used a filling prepared from butter, cinnamon, grounded almonds and sugar but you can use walnuts, poppy seeds or cocoa powder.

Kringle is an Estonian pastry flavored with cinnamon that is usually baked around holidays or other celebrations

I have never managed to prepare two identical Kringles. It seems like each loaf has its own personality and for this reason I love its charm. When freshly baked, serve it with coffee or tea for breakfast or lunch. After the first day, toast it and enjoy it with a bit of butter and jam.

Kringle is an Estonian pastry flavored with cinnamon that is usually baked around holidays or other celebrations

Yield: 1 loaf                                 Time: 2 hours

Ingredients for the dough:
  • 275 g (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) lukewarm milk
  • 7 g active dry yeast
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 30 g (1/8 cup) unsalted butter, melted
Ingredients for the filling:
  • 60 g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds
Directions:
  1. For the dough preparation, pour the lukewarm milk in bowl and add the yeast and the sugar. Mix well and let stand for 10 minutes, or until foam starts to form.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, egg yolk and butter. Pour the milk mixture and start kneading until a smooth, non-stick dough forms, for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  3. While the dough rises, prepare the filling by whisking together the butter, cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 205°C (400°F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough in a 16x12-inche rectangle. Spoon the filling onto the dough and spread evenly. Keep 1 tablespoon of the filling for later to brush on the top. Sprinkle the almonds over the filling the roll the dough from the long side, into a log.
  6. Using a serrated knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise, leaving one edge uncut, roughly about 1/2-inch.
  7. Braid the two pieces with the cut side up. Pinch the ends together and form a ring.
  8. Place the ring onto the prepared baking tray and brush it with the left cinnamon filling.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 175°C (350°F) for the last 10 minutes. 
  10. Remove from the oven, to a wire rack to cool.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks: 
  • You can also use your stand mixer for kneading. Just add all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and attach the dough hook. Knead for 8 minutes.

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