Kringel – Estonian Sweet Bread



I have to admit, when choosing some movie to watch with friends, I will always prefer some black and white old classic, a film made in some smaller country from a new director, or an inspiring documentary, rather than last Hollywood hit – not that they are no good, on the contrary, It’s just me and my wish to see this art form from all the offered angles.

So, one rainy Friday afternoon, I was on the internet, looking for a documentary film to watch with my friend, and I stumbled upon interesting short film named Ode to Kringel, made by Kaisa Pitsi. In a second I was charmed by a simple and soothing song called Frost from this short documentary. The song performed duet Tuule Kann, combining just two instruments – jazz guitar and old folk Estonian instrument called kannel (belonging to the zither family). In some half stop motion way, this six minute film was revealing to me, how to make a sweet pastry dish called Kringel. I instantly tough – this must be true culinary delicacy. And I started to search on the web more stories about the kringel. And I found few things that I can share with you.

Interesting thing is that der Kringel means ring or circle in German language, and logically, they were the ones that invented this sweet bread, and then somewhere back in the history Germans occupied Estonia, and introduced the method of rolling butter between layers of dough to them. Estonians continued to make kringel, namely for Christmas and other special occasions, and they perfected this coffee pastry into one great delicious treat.

Since there are numerous variations of the kringel recipe, I tried some of them, then made some adjustments and made my own favorite walnut cinnamon kringel.

aitah/thank you Estonian people, for this delicious sweet bread delight.


Estonian sweet bread recipe:


Kringel – Estonian Sweet Bread
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 300 grams / 1½ ounces all purpose flour
  • 120 milliliters / 4 fluid ounces walnut milk
  • 20 grams / 0.7 ounces fresh yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons walnut oil (regular cooking oil will also do just fine)
  • 40 grams / 1 ½ ounces raisin
  • 50 grams / 1.7 ounces sugar
  • 50 grams / 1.7 ounces butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • walnut pulp (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • large mixing bowl
  • kitchen scale
  • wooden spoon
  • spoon
  • rolling pin
  • liquid measuring cup
  • dough knife (or a regular, very sharp knife)
  • pastry brush
  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper
  1. If you’re making your own walnut milk, you should soak the walnuts one night before.
  2. After you make the milk, turn the oven on 100ºC / 210ºF, and while you are preparing dough, put the walnut pulp to dry.
  3. Crush yeast into a bowl, add sugar and lukewarm milk and leave it while the yeast dissolves. Add flour slowly while stirring with wooden spoon. Add egg yolk, sugar, salt, oil and raisins and knead the dough well.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, cover it with tea towel and leave it to rise for about an hour in a warm place. (The dough amount should double).
  5. Heat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF.
  6. Melt butter on a low heat; add sugar, cinnamon and walnut pulp.
  7. Dust lightly working surface with flour, transfer the dough and roll it with the roller pin into a rectangle of 1 cm / o.4 in thickness.
  8. Brush evenly the butter spread on dough and then roll the dough lengthwise and cut it in a half (also lengthwise), but leave few cm/in of one end uncut. From that end plait the dough, folding one side of the dough over the other. Join both ends to form a circle.
  9. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper and transfer the kringel onto cookie sheet.
  10. Bake the kringel about 20 -25 minutes, or until golden brown. While still hot, sprinkle the chocolate sprinkles over it. Leave to cool and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with hot cup of favorite coffee.


Hea isu…

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