Russian/Ukrainian Krendel -We Knead to Bake #34

A beautiful fresh apple and dried fruit-filled yeast bread that is not only delicious, but festive as well. It is shaped like a giant pretzel and is usually glazed with a sugar syrup or dusted with confectioners’ sugar. It is thought to be of German origin, supposedly an alteration of German Kringle cookie, but  Russian Orthodox tradition, the bread is served on special days such as a “name day”, considered a holy day as it is the feast day of the saint after whom a person is named and at Christmas time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

I’ll have to admit that my first attempt at folding the filled dough into a pretzel shaped didn’t work! While baking in the oven, the dough broke and the filling oozes out-a total disaster. However, I had some time, so made a second one with a ginger/cinnamon mincemeat filling. Not perfect, but much better. I hate to fail at baking yeast breads as I feel it is one of the things I do best. 

Thanks, Aparna for this very delicious and festive yeast bread. I froze mine until my family arrives for Christmas. The bread will be a nice touch on Christmas. 

Russian/Ukrainian Krendel

Original Recipe FromTaste of Home

Adapted Recipe My Diverse Kitchen

For the Dough

2 teaspoons instant yeast, or bread machine yeast

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup cream

1/2 cup lukewarm milk

50 grams (4 tablespoons) butter, softened

1 egg

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling

1 cup apple juice

2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1/3 finely chopped dried figs, or cranberries

1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots

2/3 cup chopped prunes

15 gram (1 tablespoon) butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon chai masala (optional)

For Spreading Over the Dough

25 grams (2 tablespoons) butter, softened

1-1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Glaze

8 grams (1/2 tablespoon) hot water

3/4 to 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon or lime rind

1/4 cup slice almonds for garnishing

If you don’t use the glaze, you can dust the Grendel with confectioners’ sugar.


I used the dough cycle of my bread machine to process the dough. If you would like to use a conventional method, go to Aparna’s post.

For the Dough

Place all the ingredients for the dough into the bread machine pan according to manufacturer’s instruction for your machine. Process on the dough cycle. While dough is processing, make the filling by placing all the ingredients except the chai masala, if using, in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, unto the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency. Mix in the chai masala just before taking the filling off the heat. Transfer filling to a bowl and cool completely.

When dough cycle has completed, remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a large rectangle. Brush the soft butter over the dough to within 1″ of edges. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle uniformly over the butter. Spread the filling over this and roll up tightly jelly roll style, sealing the seams well and pinching together the ends so that the filling won’t leak out.

Place the dough seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Shape into a pretzel pinching the ends to the side or tuck them under. Loosely cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes until it has risen and looks puffy.

Bake the krendel at 350°F (180C) for 30-45 minutes until is it done and golden brown.  Cool on a rack.

If  using the sugar glaze, mix the ingredients for the glaze together to a slightly thick pouring consistency. and then brush the Krendel with the glaze. Garnish with the sliced almonds and let it set.

Makes 20 servings.


Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

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