Thank you! I love posting about what comes out of my kitchen as well as how we spend our time in and around Portland, but it’s impossible to know what my followers like. Your note reassures me that at least some people enjoy both!
And by the way, we have done the beautiful Banks to Vernonia trail many times. You live in a gorgeous part of the state and we’re lucky enough to only be 30 minutes away!
I found a picture for an amazing kringel pastry on Pinterest months ago and bookmarked it. When I finally got around to trying it this morning it became pretty clear something was amiss. The first time around I used the proportions that had been translated from the original, and the dough ended up the size and weight of a baseball. I knew the original baker didn’t intend for the dough to be so dry and hard, so I chucked the first attempt and tried again.
For the second round I relied on my experience and bread-baking know-how to make a better dough. Without changing the ingredients, I altered their proportions and modified the method as well. I was pretty sure I was shooting for a stiff dough, but one that would ultimately be tender.
What I ended up with was every bit as melt-in-your-mouth as the picture shows it to be.
- 3/4 cup very warm milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 2 tablespoons soft butter
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour, or as needed
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, pour milk over butter and sugar (or honey) and stir until butter is melted. Sprinkle yeast over milk mixture and let yeast proof for about 5 minutes. Add egg yolk, salt and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Stir with wooden spoon until well mixed. Scrape dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 8 minutes, using as much remaining flour as needed. Put dough in large, well-greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.
For filling, mix the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 380 degrees.
Punch down dough and set on lightly floured surface. With rolling pin, roll dough out to rectangular shape, about 14x10-inches. Spread all but 3 tablespoons of the mixture over the surface of dough.
Starting on one long side, roll up the dough.
Starting 1-inch from the top, carefully cut rolled dough in half length-wise.
Twist two pieces together, leaving cut sides exposed.
Bring ends together to form a ring. Slice through the uncut 1-inch and weave ends together, making sure loose pieces are tucked under. Transfer kringel to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush remaining cinnamon filling over top of kringel.
Bake for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.
Breathe deeply and smell the deliciousness of cinnamon and homemade bread from your kitchen! If you like, drizzle kringel with icing or dust with powdered sugar.
Every morning I’m awake a couple of hours before anyone else. I always try my best to fall asleep again, but after more than a better part of an hour staring into the dark, I give up. I make my way to the family room and settle in on the couch with my laptop on the coffee table or on my lap. Delores saunters over and begs for attention. Her nuzzling and kneading feels like affection, but I know her true motive is to be fed; my early morning ritual has made me The Feeder. After I’m completely comfortable her pestering gets the better of me and I untangle myself from the down comforters and give into her pleading. While I’m up, I make myself an espresso and open the blinds around the window seat in the living room, knowing that after Delores has eaten she’ll watch the dawn from this spot.
A few minutes later I’m back in my nest with a latte in-hand. I check my social networks, write, and carefully consider pictures on my memory cards. Sometimes the early morning news provides background noise, other times I prefer the quiet, or listening to the rain hit the skylights. It’s this time of day when I organize my thoughts and make lists to plan my life. Insomnia can be lonely, but I usually treasure those quiet hours when most of Portland’s still asleep.
Last week I made a pledge to consider using the food we already have on hand before running out the door to the grocery store or market whenever a meal idea popped into my head. This became more than the superficial exercise I thought it would be. As the days went by I found myself more and more committed to the challenge; I really wanted to see where this would take me. I found it’s not any harder to stay inspired when you’re limited to what’s in your pantry or freezer, and it’s healthy for the mind and the budget. It is, however, still hard for me to control those sudden brainstorms that usually result in trips to the store. Over the past week or so we’ve eaten some great meals that I hadn’t made in years. We’ve also enjoyed some new ones, like an incredible Stromboli I made a couple of nights ago that was filled with paper-thin slices of salami and smoked mozzarella, topped with cherry tomatoes! Neither quality nor creativity have been compromised in this quest.
For the next couple of days I’ll continue to tell you which dishes were inspired by my resourcefulness. After that, you’ll just have to believe me that I’m staying committed.