Saturday, January 30, 2016

Krendel - Ukrainian/Russian Fruit Filled Pretzel Shaped Festive Bread | We Knead to Bake #34

This post was supposed to be up last month as it was a Christmas Bread. But as usual it got postponed and  I thought I should definitely post this month atleast as it was a very tasty and really festive bread. Festivals definitely put us in a happy space. Time somehow flies and with all the aromas surrounding us we get too carried away. This is one such bread that lifts the mood and definitely makes the day festive and gourmet. The warm spice baked aroma coming out of the oven fills the house and you just can't wait to dig in. 

Krendel is a pretzel shaped Russian/Ukrainian fruit filled Christmas bread. It is  supposed to be of German origin and has a filling of fresh apples and a spiced jam of apricots, prunes and other dry fruits. As usual I halved the recipe and the recipe turned out wonderful. I was in a hurry that I could not click better pics. Serves me right as I need to control myself rather than jumping  on the dish as the aroma from the oven were heavenly. Self control is not my virtue but it definitely helps in getting better pics.


Instant yeast: 1 tsp
Honey: 1 tbsp
Cream :2 tbsp
Lukewarm milk: 4 tbsp
Soft Butter: 2 tbsp
Egg: 1/2 (3/4 pkd tsp of Ener G + 2 tbsp of water)
Vanilla: 3/4 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp
All Purpose Flour: 1 cup &6 tbsp to 1 cup &10 tbsp

Applejuice: 1/2 cup
LArge apples: 1 peeled and chopped
Dried figs: 8 tsp finely choppped
Dried apricots: 8 tsp
Chopped Prunes: 1/3 cup
Butter: 2 tsp
Sugar: 1.5 tsp
Chai masala: 1/4 tsp

Soft butter: 1 tbsp
Sugar: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon: 1/4 tsp

2 tsp butter
Hotwater: 2 tsp
Icing sugar: 6-8 tbsp
Grated lemon zest: 1/8 tsp
Sliced almonds: 2 tbsp

Can be avoided. Dust with just icing sugar instead of glze


Put all the ingredients of the dough including 1 cup and 6 tbsp of flour in the processor bowl and knead to get a soft, smooth and elastic dough which is little sticky adding additional flour if needed

Shape into a ball and place it in a well oiled bowl turning once to coat and let it sit covered loosely until doubled in volume around 1.5 hours.

Put all ingredients except chai masala in a large sauce pan, bring to boil and then reduce and let it simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally till it reaches a pulpy consistency. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool completely.

Deflate the risen dough and turn it out onto a lightly dusted counter. Roll it out into a medium thick rectangle. Brush soft butter all over the dough within 1" of edges. Mix together cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle uniformly over the butter. Spread the filling over and roll up the rectangle jelly roll style as tightly as possible from the longer side. Seal the seam well and pinch together the ends to prevent the filling from falling out.

Place the dough seam side down on a lined /greased baking sheet. Shape it into a pretzel pinching the ends to the sides or tucking them under.

Loosely cover and let it rise for around 30-45 minutes until puffy. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F/180C.

Bake the krendel for about 40-45 minutes until golden brown at the top. Take out and let it cool on a wire rack.

If using glaze mix the ingredients for it and brush over the krendel. Else just dust the krendel with confectioners/icing sugar and slice and serve.

Perfect festive treat. It can be consumed anytime including midnight . Its a simple bread made festive with the filling. 
Lets see who all baked the Krendel with us and hop over to Aparna's.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Sweet Rice Pudding | Happy 2016/ Makar Sankranthi/ Pongal

Makar Sankranthi/ Pongal is being celebrated today in several states across India. Makar Sankranthi marks the start of the journey of the Sun  northwards or "Uttarayan" or when the sun enters the 10th house of Makar or Capricorn. Basically a harvest festival, it indicates the arrival of spring in India and falls usually with Jan 13-15. In South India it is celebrated as Pongal which almost a week long festival. 

Christmas came, New Year came and it started on a good or rather musical note. After travelling, after working after lazing around, I  thought atleast now I should start blogging for the year. Today  Makar Sankranthi/ Pongal being celebrated  in some parts of India I thought I should start with a simple healthy traditional and also different dish. 

Now Pongal is a festival celebrated worldwide by all Tamilians. Each region and sometimes each family have their own recipe with slight adjustments and adaptations. This time I thought I could try a slightly different Sri Lankan Tamil version adapted from here. Its easy, healthy and vegan too if you avoid the drizzling of ghee while serving

Raw rice/ white rice/sona masuri : around 1 cup
Moong Dal / Split yellow gram: 1/4 cup

Jaggery: grated around 2-3 cups made into a syrup(adjust as per taste)

Clove powder: 1/2 tsp

Coconut Milk: 1/4 -1/2 cup medium thick

Raisins/ dried prunes/currants: handful
Cashew nuts: handful 

Ghee (optional) : for roasting the nusts and raisins and also drizzling on top.

Dry roast the moong dal lightly in a pan until the raw smell goes and it starts browning. Add it to rice.

Cook together rice,roasted dal and clove powder in enough water until its done. I prefer my pongal slightly mushy or overcooked but its your choice.

Add jaggery syrup to this mixture and continue cooking, stirring in between so that it doesn't burn. Do the taste test and add more jaggery syrup incase you want it to be more sweet. 

Add in the coconut milk and continue cooking for few more minutes on low heat. Once it thickens or reaches your consistency then remove from heat.

Serve warm in bowls as a dessert garnished optionally with ghee roasted nuts and raisins.

The measurements are guesstimates and feel free to change as per your needs. Pongal is usually made with cow's milk  and cardamom powder and I just twisted it to make a defferent yet same Lankan one which is vegan if you close your eyes to the garnishes. 

Hope you'll enjoy the dish as much as you enjoy the festival.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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