~ M.F.K. Fisher
I only just realized that this blog had surpassed its 2 year anniversary last May, but with with everything that was happening in my life around that time, it had completely slipped my mind. So yay, happy belated 2nd blogoversary to my baby, Foodiva's Kitchen! What better to commemorate the occasion than with a bread post? Now those of you who have been following this blog know that I am ever so slightly obsessed with beautiful breads, especially the baked, yeasty kinds. I blame it all on my time in Europe, when I found it quite impossible to walk past a bakery everyday without being drawn in by the waft of the freshly baked loaves. Oh, and walking out with at least one each time!
So a while ago, I came across several posts featuring a traditional Estonian festive bread called Kringel Bread. Originating in Germany, it's a sweet bread often flavored with cinnamon and almonds and it's usually baked in Estonia for special occasions such as holidays and birthdays. Kringel just means 'circle' or 'ring' so the bread is basically one that's been twisted into the shape of a pretzel or a simple ring.
I actually made this bread quite a while ago and the draft post had been lying dormant in my posting schedule all this time, waiting for the day when I will have the desire to fine-tune it and finally press the 'Publish' button. I'm not quite sure why it took me so long to get this out because it really is a pretty and scrumptious tasting bread. Instead of a sweet-bread, however, I opted to make a savory one using a filling of fresh rosemary, garlic and flaxseed. And just because I was on a healthy streak the day I made this, I exchanged the plain flour with whole wheat flour...it made me feel better about scoffing down almost all of the Kringel on my own afterwards :).
It's an impressive-looking bread once it's baked, but don't be scared off thinking you can't make it as it's really quite simple to shape. Once you sprinkle the flattened dough with the filling, you just have to roll it up into a cylinder, slice it in the middle leaving one end intact, twist the two ropes around each other and finally join the ends together to make a circle. That's all there is to it.
Enjoy making this bread for your loved ones and friends and don't forget to be adventurous with the filling!
Off to Yeastspotting this goes!
Rosemary Garlic Flaxseed Kringel Bread
300 g all-purpose or wholewheat flour (2 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
125 ml lukewarm milk (1/2 cup)
20 g fresh yeast (0.6 oz fresh yeast or 1 envelope active dry yeast)
30 g melted butter (1/8 cup)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sugar
50 g softened butter (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons flaxmeal/ground flaxseed
1. Mix the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm milk and let it sit a few minutes while the yeast bubbles and foams up.
2. Add the egg yolk, the melted butter, the flour and the salt, then knead the dough and shape into a ball.
3. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, then cover and place in a warm space and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
4. Preheat oven to 200°C (about 400°F). Dust your work surface with flour, and roll the dough out to a rectangle with a thickness of 1cm.
5. Spread the melted butter across all of the dough, then sprinkle the rosemary, garlic and flaxmeal on top.
6. Roll up the dough into a cylinder and using a knife, cut the log in half length-wise but leave one end still joined up.
7. Twist the two halves together, keeping the open layers exposed as shown in the photo tutorial. Form into a wreath shape, weave the ends together and pinch to seal. Transfer to a baking tray (buttered or lined with a cookie sheet or silpat).
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cover with a foil halfway to prevent excessive browning of the dough.
9. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) after 5-10 minutes to stop it burning. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a rack for about 5 minutes before eating.