This traditional yeast bread wonderfully reflects my Scandinavian heritage. Flaky layers of tender dough are flavored with almond paste. The unique sugar cookie crumb coating adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup warm half-and-half cream (110° to 115°)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup almond paste
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1/4 cup sugar cookie crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- In a small bowl, cream 6 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour. Spread into an 8-in. x 4-in. rectangle on a piece on waxed paper. Cover with waxed paper; refrigerate.
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the cream, sugar, salt and egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Do not let rise. Roll into an 8-in. square. Remove top sheet of waxed paper from butter mixture; invert onto center of dough. Peel off waxed paper. Fold plain dough over butter layer. Fold widthwise into thirds. Roll out into a 12-in. x 6-in. rectangle. Fold into thirds. Repeat rolling and folding twice. Wrap in waxed paper; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 24-in. x 5-in. rectangle. In a small bowl, beat almond paste and remaining butter; beat until smooth. Spread lengthwise down the center of dough. Fold dough over filling to cover; pinch to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet. Shape into a pretzel. Flatten lightly with a rolling pin. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Brush egg white over dough. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs and almonds. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 16-20 servings.
Originally published as Danish Kringle in Best of Country Breads 2000, p75
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