Danish vs. Wisconsin Kringle
How you doin’? In some of my blogs we talk about the origins of food. Today we are going to discuss the geographic differences in the recipes themselves. Let’s take for example Kringle vs Kringle—one from Wisconsin and the other from Denmark.
The first recipe is from my friend Birget’s grandmother who was born and raised in Aarhus, Denmark on the Jutland peninsula’s east coast. I was there at Christmas several years ago and enjoyed the 12 days with amazing Danish food. A Danish Kringle is a special holiday pastry treat that is both beautiful and delicious—but it is also a wonderful everyday treat. You might want to plan ahead and make your dough at least 1 to 2 days in advance. It's simple—it takes just a few minutes to prepare and refrigerate. Allow enough time to do it right.
Did you know the shape of a Kringle (pretzel-shaped) in Denmark 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, but the place to buy it.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Additional time: at least 8 hours dough resting and cooling time
Bake time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3 braids / 12 servings
For the pastry
1 cup unsalted European-style butter
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
For the filling
1 cup European-style butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1-1/2 cups roasted and chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
For the icing
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons water
To make the pastry
ChefSecret: Why use sour cream? In terms of baking chemistry, sour cream is a powerhouse combo of acid and fat. In fact, it's one of the fattiest dairy products you can use in your baking. Both elements of sour cream's character make it a truly special (not to mention, hardworking) ingredient in your ingredient arsenal.
This American Kringle recipe is a classic yeast-raised pastry that originated in Wisconsin by the many newly arrived German immigrants who settled in the area. It differs from the Danish version with its flaky, buttery crust and sweet filling that is made with almond paste. Kringles are best served within a day or two of baking. Drizzle or spread the icing on them about a half an hour before serving.
Prep time: 1 hour
Chill/Proof time: 5 hours
Bake time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 10 servings
For the dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup cold whole milk
1 large cold egg
For the filling
3/4 cup almond paste, softened
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup (from about 2 large eggs) egg whites, well-beaten
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
For the icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 teaspoons water (more if needed)
To prepare the pastry dough
ChefSecret: Take the Kringle up a notch by sprinkling the icing with 1/4-cup of toasted slivered almonds.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “How did the health experts lie? They said a mask and gloves was enough to go to the grocery store. When I got there, everyone else had clothes on. I was so embarrassed!”
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