KRINGLE: WISCONSIN’S POORLY KEPT SECRET
No matter where you live there’s probably a favorite local food, a treat that expats wax rhapsodic about. Besides being America’s Dairyland, Wisconsinites, known as Cheese Heads, love their cheese (duh), beer, Chubs (fish), and bratwurst. Then there is the Kringle.

WHAT THE HECK IS A KRINGLE?
Step into the way-back machine to the 1800’s, Wisconsin. Scandinavian settlers, feeling homesick, introduced The Kringle, eventually ordained The Official State Pastry. Really.

The whole Kringle business started in Denmark with a bunch of 13th century Roman Catholic monks. These monks invented pretzels, and somewhere along the line bakers started adding sweet or salty fillers and behold, the dawn of Kringle, the round/pretzel-shaped, 30-plus layered pastry. Today the proud Kringle image appears on most Danish bakery signs.

Bakery Shop Sign

LEHMANN’S BAKERY
Two locations offering fillings of fruit, nut or whatever goes by the adjective gourmet. They proudly state,”made the old-fashioned way, by hand from scratch, our Kringle were voted Racine’s best”. That’s a pretty bold statement.

RACINE DANISH KRINGLES
“It’s not just a treat, it’s a tradition”.
An early adopter, this forward-thinking bakery snagged the Kringle URL.

BENDTSEN’S BAKERY
Featuring the “Kringle of the Month Club”, Bendtsen’s will ship to those unlucky enough to live elsewhere. One Yelper proclaimed they made the only handmade Kringle in town.

LARSEN’S BAKERY
Boldly staking a claim as the “Home of Racine’s Original Kringle”.
$48 will buy the “Sampler Package” ( item #91035 ) consisting of one Cranberry Walnut Kringle, one Seven Sister Coffee Cake, and Eight Almond Crescents. Operators are standing by.

O&H DANISH BAKERY
Six locations! Their many flavors include the Almond Kringle, Almond Macaroon Kringle, Apple Kringle, Apricot Kringle, Birthday Kringle, Blueberry Kringle, Butter Rum Kringle, Cherry Kringle, Cherry Cheese Kringle, Chocolate Pecan Kringle, Christmas Kringle Cinnamon Roll Kringle, Cranberry Kringle, Cream Cheese Kringle, Maple Walnut Kringle, Pecan Kringle, Pumpkin Caramel Kringle, Raspberry Kringle, Turtle Kringle, Apple and Almond Pair, Pecan and Raspberry Pair, and of course, the Wisconsin Kringle.

This is a town that never forgets a holiday. Order now for your Thanksgiving Kringle.

Kringle_TraderJoes Rare Kringle Sighting at San Francisco Trader Joe’s

EPILOGUE
Of course, there’s a folk tale.
Lars Larson was on his deathbed with only a few hours left. His wife just came home from the bakery, and the enticing aroma of fresh baked Kringle got his attention. Lars had a thought, “If I could just have a taste of Kringle before I die, it would make my dying sweeter.”

His body weak, Lars slowly got out of bed and made his way to the kitchen. Reaching out for a bite his wife swatted his hand away. “Stop that,” she said. “We’re saving these for the funeral.”

KRINGLE RECIPE
preheat oven to 375 degrees
3 1/2 + 1/4 cup sifted flour
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup chilled butter
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup warm water
filling of choice (raisins, custard, jam…)
pastry brush
fork
smidgen of oil (grease, if you have it)
wax paper
rolling pin
grasp of simple math, squares and rectangles
familiarity with pizza dough
willingness to sacrifice 3+ hours of your life

Roll a mixture of butter and 1/4 cup flour between wax paper sheets, until you have a large rectangle, 12-ish x 4-ish. Now chill. (the mixture) (you too).
After putting the yeast into 1/2 warm water, combine with the flour, one beaten egg, milk, salt and sugar to make the dough.
Sprinkle flour on your work surface, place the dough on top, roll into a 12-inch square.
Time to put that chilled butter in the center, frame the butter with folded up sides. Roll out another 12-inch square making sure to rotate your creation for each layer.
Wrap that mass of dough in waxed paper, then a 30 minute time-out in the fridge.
Repeat folding and rolling a bunch of times.
Guess what? Roll the dough into a rectangle, approx 12×24 inches. (12×12=12×24).
After that, cut the rectangle in half the long way. Now you have two Kringle. (1×2=2).
Spoon your filling on top. Best to run a little water on your fingers to moisten the edges.(of the dough) Time for another square. Pretend you’re making a pizza by stretching the dough to 12×30 inches. Place the dough on your faux Teflon-ed baking sheet, seam side down.
Thought you were through with that rolling pin?
Roll out to a uniform 1/2-inch thickness and brush on more egg, add more filling, cover.
When your creation doubles in size ,(20-30 minutes), it’s time for the oven.
Bake at 375 Fahrenheit, (190 Celsius), for 25-30 minutes, until it’s a nice golden brown.

Plan B, order on-line. Heat, eat, repeat.