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Kringel – chocolate and bread heaven

March 28, 2010

‘All sorrows are less with bread.’ Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote. I pinched this from the irrepressible MsMarmitelover’s blog spot The English Can Cook (check out the picture of her high heels abandoned by the Aga). Maybe I should amend this to ‘all sorrows are less with chocolate bread’ as I attempted to make Kringel – a bread recipe decadently laden with butter and drizzled with melted chocolate.

KringelIt was my first adventure with Fresh From the Oven and I was school-girlishly excited to be part of this group of global, baking bloggers.  Curious to see whether I could actually get fresh yeast in Dubai I put out a few tweets and then hit the streets.  The Lebanese Bakery on Al Wasl Road produced none but did provide an really entertaining 20 minutes trying to describe it in pigeon Arabic (from my side) and limited English (they knew everything to do with taking an order).  It was a great excuse to have cheese bread (manakish or manaeesh) for lunch .   On another day, Park n Shop in the Safa Centre yielded some of the crumbly, brown stuff , a nice chat about bread-makers with the baker and some delicious ciabatta.

I hadn’t made anything like the Kringel before so was intrigued especially as it has an Eastern European origin (my Dad was Polish but I’ve cooked very little from that region).  I wasn’t confident that I could mix the ingredients together in a bowl so I used my usual counter-top method, making a large well in a pile of flour and bringing the liquid in gently from the edges with a fork.  I then switched to my favourite bread making tool.  When I first moved to Saudi Arabia in 1995 I had so little to do, my guilty pleasure was watching daytime American cookery programmes.  The benefits of a flat metal wedge with a wooden handle was espoused by an Italian cook called Biba when she demonstrated pasta making and I give thanks everytime I use it.  Sticky dough fingers are a thing of the past.

I decided not to used raisins as I’m the only one who likes them in our family (and for that reason it doesn’t seem that long ago that I finished eating  the Christmas cake).  I only used about 500 gms of flour, probably due to using medium sized eggs.  It still made quite a stiff dough – if you are feeling weak in the arm department you might be tempted to use a machine and a dough hook.  Otherwise, say goodbye to bingo-wings. It’s a great way to destress too (Rosie my Border Terrier agrees).

My 11 year old daughter’s reaction to the kringel means I’ll definately be making it again. I’d make the swiss roll even longer and thinner and twist it to make it prettier.  I also found savoury version online which sounds interesting.  Thank you to Jo of Jo’s Kitchen who found the Kringel.  Here’s the recipe which is from The Hairy Biker’s, with a few comments from me thrown in. Stop Press: I now realise that you are supposed to cut the roll in half lengthways – aaahh!


Ingredients (Makes 1 Loaf)


  • 40g fresh yeast (or 20g dried)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 250ml milk, lukewarm
  • 2 egg yolks (large)
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 600-700g flour (I used a mixture of plain and strong flour)


  • 100g butter, softened
  • 3 handfuls of raisins (I left these out)
  • 10 tsp sugar (I used vanilla caster but demerera would be nice)

Topping (makes a lot!)

  • 150g dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids)
  • 75g butter


Mix the yeast and sugar in a bowl. Add the lukewarm milk and egg yolks, then mix in the flour and melted butter and knead well. Shape the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°c/Gas 6. Dust your work surface with flour. Take the dough out of the bowl, knock it back and roll out to a thickness of 1cm. Spread the softened butter evenly over the rolled sheet of pastry, then sprinkle with raisins and finally sugar.

Roll up the dough like a swiss roll (i.e. lengthways) and cut it in half with a sharp knife. Starting from the uncut end, plait the dough, lifting each half over the other in turn. Finally, shape the plaited bread into a B shape and transfer to a buttered baking tray. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.

In the meantime, prepare the chocolate topping by melting the chocolate and butter in a bowl over boiling water. Once out of the oven, let the bread cool down a bit, place on a serving plate and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Cheese Kringel

To make a savoury version, leave out the raisins and sugar and sprinkle the Kringel with grated cheddar instead. Add more grated cheese on top instead of the chocolate sauce.

  1. March 28, 2010 8:18 pm

    Wow – I’m so glad yours turned out so well! Mine was a total disaster. I’m thinking that if I’d gone with the original chocolate version like you did (instead of the cheese version), that I would have had better results! Great photos too!


    • March 28, 2010 9:01 pm

      Jen – all the things you said about it were correct. I made one with 650 g of flour first and it was flaky and impossible to work with. I added some more liquid later and turned it into a cheesy one. It was ok but quite stodgy and yeasty. I think this is an Eastern European style dough – good for cold Winters. I really liked your post – especially the bit about the King Crab!

  2. March 28, 2010 10:30 pm

    It was my ‘first time’ too and I was pleased that mine also worked – a miracle if you consider my usual luck with dough-based recipes! I too got confused with how to cut it but managed in the end, and also ended up using just less than 600g flour! Well done – great pics, especially the one of the doggie!

    • March 29, 2010 7:00 am

      Thanks for nice comment. It was fun wasn’t it? The Kringel is quite huge – I can’t imagine how we are going to eat it all. Time for a tea party!

  3. thingswemake permalink
    March 30, 2010 7:54 pm

    Yours looks lovely, smashing drizzly chocolate. Yes lengthways is the key! Glad you like it though.

    • March 30, 2010 10:02 pm

      I think your method of less yeast and more proving is the key to make this nicer. I was inspired by your beautiful pics.

  4. March 31, 2010 8:42 pm

    Love the step by step photo’s. Your bread came out really well.

    • March 31, 2010 10:35 pm

      Thanks – the pics on your blog are great too. Like your quality control test (husband!). I only used about 500g of flour in the end – it was too dry otherwise.

  5. Neeru K permalink
    June 20, 2012 11:50 am

    Hey, Did you get the fresh yeast at Park n Shop Safa? Do you know anywhere else this is available? Thanks, Neeru

    • June 20, 2012 11:57 am

      Yes – Park n Shop Safa – although that was some time ago. I didn’t find it anywhere else (and believe me I tried!). I should have blogged about trying to explain fresh yeast to a variety of different bakers.

  6. September 6, 2013 6:08 pm

    Interesting, I recently made some Kringlas, no chocolate but sweet little inidivdual dough knots, I wonder if they are related, I’ll have to compare the recipes!

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