Monday, September 21, 2009

Bestemor's Kringler... Well, Sort Of...

When I would visit my bestemor (grandmother), cakes, pastries, waffles -- you name it -- would miraculously appear. I really don't know how or when she would create her specialties, but I can tell you one thing -- they were good! She used to grow rhubarb and strawberries in her backyard and, voila, strawberry rhubarb pie on the coffee table. But getting a recipe from her was near impossible. "A pinch of this and a fistful of that," was what she would tell me. I had a hard time explaining I needed measurements. Bestemor had been throwing stuff into a bowl for so long, she didn't need the ol' faithful measuring cup. So here is my attempt at her Kringler recipe. I'm sure it isn't right, but it's as close as I'll get.

4-1/2 cups flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1 teaspoon cardammon
1-1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 egg
2 cups raisins

Combine 2-1/2 cups flour, yeast, and cardammon. Heat and stir the milk, sugar, butter, and salt until warm (about 120 degrees F). Add the warm mixture to the dry ingredients; add one egg and beat with a mixer for 1 minute at low speed. Beat 3 more minutes at high speed. Add raisins to the mix. Add as much of the rest of the flour, 2 to 2-1/2 cups, and mix with a spoon until your arm is tired. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead in any remaining flour until stiff and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and put into a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double. Punch the dough and divide it in two. Cover each half and let rest 15 minutes. Shape the dough into two round or oval loaves, or into the shape of a horseshoe. Place the dough onto a greased baking sheet. Let rise for about an hour until nearly double. Stir one egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water and brush over the loaves. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cool on a rack and sprinkle some powdered sugar, or create a sugary drizzle and stick crushed almonds on top.

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