Old Danish Kringle - Dansk Smørekringle

Mix salt and sugar. Add ¾ cup milk and eggs.

Add yeast soaked in ¼ cup milk heated to lukewarm. Add butter, and cream all ingredients together with fingers. Add enough flour to make a medium-stiff dough; add grated lemon rind and cardamom seed.

On a lightly floured board spread the dough to an 8 × 12 rectangle. Dab the butter on half of this rectangle (4 × 6 inches). Fold the unbuttered half of the dough over the butter half. Roll out to 8 × 12 inches again. Fold in half again. Roll again to an 8 × 12 rectangle. Fold in half. Chill dough 2 hours in refrigerator.

Cut in 4 strips lengthwise. For 4 kringles, roll strips out to 18 × 2½ inches. Spread filling in to middle and fold ends over. Sprinkle with ground nuts and powdered sugar.

Form in pretzel shapes and let rest in a warm place 45 minutes to rise.

Brush with a mixture of equal parts of egg and milk, sprinkle with sugar and ground slivered almonds.

Bake in a preheated 375° oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until a delicate brown.

RAISIN-NUT FILLING

Bring to a boil water and raisins. Drain off the liquid. Let cool.

Cream butter until very soft, add cardamom and blend well. Add powdered sugar and enough cream to enable you to spread mixture easily. Mix in raisins and chopped nuts and blend well.

PRUNE FILLING

Cook prunes until tender, pit and mash. Add remaining ingredients and cook until thick.

NOTES : This old Danish pastry is legendary. It symbolizes the Danish hygge (which means "comfortable and good") life.

Any fruit or nut filling is excellent, but almond is the most popular with the Danes.

It is always served at Christmas and Easter and on special anniversaries.

There is a secret to kringle baking: The dough is made with the butter rolled - not mixed or blended with a fork or pastry blender.