Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Kringle is a Scandinavian pastry, a Nordic variety of pretzel, which arrived with Roman Catholic monks in the 13th century, especially in Denmark. It developed further into several kinds of sweet, salty or filled pastries.

In Danish and Norwegian, the word is kringle, plural kringler; Swedish: kringla, plural kringlor; Icelandic: kringla, plural kringlur; Finnish: rinkeli. The word originates from the Old Norse kringla, meaning ring or circle. The shape of the kringle has given name to a similarly entangled feature found in some proteins, the so-called Kringle domain.

In the United States, kringles are hand-rolled from Danish pastry dough (wienerbrød dough) that has been rested overnight before shaping, filling, and baking. Many layers of the flaky dough are layered, then shaped in an oval. After filling with fruit, nut, or other flavor combinations, the pastry is baked and iced.

Racine, Wisconsin, has historically been a center of Danish-American culture. Kringle and Danish culture are an important part of Racine's cultural identity, and several local bakeries make and ship hundreds of thousands of kringles each year.

The Ballard area of Seattle, Washington, Solvang, California, central Iowa and Burr Ridge, Illinois, are among other places to find kringles in the U.S. In 2005, Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, held a Kringle Kontest, which was won by Kirsten's Danish Bakery in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Kirsten may have had a slight advantage in being the only Danish bakery in the U.S. that employs bakers trained in Denmark using traditional methods.

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