I expect a lot of people will have already seen recipes for this fabulous Estonian bread doing the rounds on the net. I first came across it on Pinterest and found the recipe on Romanian cooking blog Just Loves Cookin which has a great step-by-step photo guide on shaping . It’s such a pretty loaf that I couldn’t wait long before trying to make my own. As you can see from the pics, I need a little more practice shaping the ring but I’m still quite pleased with the result. The taste is, unsurprisingly, as good as any cinnamon roll – rich, buttery and caramelised. The layers you create by rolling the dough fan out as they bake and turn into crunchy, dark golden ridges hiding soft, sweet bread rippled with spice.
The kringle is ubiquitous to much of Northern Europe with most Scandinavian countries having their own version, most commonly flavoured with cardamom. I get the feeling this recipe is rather Americanised given the amount of cinnamon involved. Perhaps one day I’ll get as far as Tallinn and find out. Anyway, no matter where this recipe originated, it tastes delicious and makes a perfect Sunday breakfast or brunch. I’m certain that it would also be a very welcome gift given how good it looks. I also have a feeling that those folds and ridges would happily lend themselves to a savoury version possibly involving pesto and lots of cheese.
Slightly adapted from Just Loves Cookin
- 300g strong flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 20g fresh yeast or 1 sachet of easi-blend yeast
- 1 egg yolk
- 20g butter
- 175ml hand-hot milk
For the filling:
- 50g butter, softened
- 50g sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
Place the flour in a large bowl, put the salt and sugar on one side then crumble the yeast (or pour dried yeast) on the opposite side (the salt will kill the yeast if place side by side). Mix together well then stir in the yolk.
Melt the butter and mix with the warmed milk, pour most but not all the liquid into the flour and work into a soft dough, add the rest of the liquid if it is too dry. The dough should be nice and wet, don’t worry if it seems too sticky to do anything with; that’s just right. Stretch and knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. A dough scraper is very handy here – use one hand to work the dough and the other to wield the scraper and bring the dough back towards you when it starts to wander across the work top. If it seems unmanageable leave the dough to rest and absorb the liquid for 15 minutes and start kneading again. Try to resist adding more flour.
Once the dough is smooth and soft, roll into a ball, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled. About and hour. Meanwhile stir together the softened butter, sugar and cinnamon for the filling. You may need to warm the butter a little so it spreads easily.
Heat the oven to 200°C.
Lightly flour a clean work surface and turn out the risen dough. Gently press out the air and roll out nice and flat trying to keep a rectangle shape. Spread the cinnamon butter as evenly as possible right to the edges of the dough.
Starting from one edge, roll the dough up nice and tightly. With a sharp knife slice the dough in two, lengthways stopping just short of the end. Open out the two lengths and plait them together keeping the cut edge outwards.
Bring the ends round to form a ring then carefully place the ring on a greased tray.
Place the loaf in the centre of the oven and turn the temperature down to 180°C. Bake for 35 minutes until dark golden.