Beatrice Ojakangas

Recipes from the Scandinavian Chef

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Location: Duluth, Minnesota, United States



This is a very popular pastry that is neither Swedish nor Welsh and is known as Swedish kringle to some Scandinavian Americans. The word “kringle”, however, designates a pretzel shaped bread, which this is not. Some Americans call it Danish pastry, which to me is a misleading term. In Sweden and in Finland, the elements are shaped into round individual cakes, and then are called “Maria Pastries”.
If this description sounds mysterious and difficult to you, let me explain: Swedish Welsh Bread or “Walesbrod”, is a simple combination of classic bakery elements. It’s basically a cream puff pastry (Choux Paste to the French) baked on top of a flakey pie pastry, then decorated with an almond flavored icing. Sound familiar?

Makes 2 pastries, 12 x 4-inches, about 8 servings
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons firm butter
2-3 tablespoons ice water
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter
2-3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
about 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds or filberts, chopped*

Measure the flour into a mixing bowl or workbowl of a food processor with the steel blade in place. Slice the butter and add to the flour. Cut in with a pastry blender or process using on/off pulses until the butter is the size of peas. Add ice water and mix gently until the flour is moistened. Press pastry into a ball and divide into 2 parts. Roll each part out to make a 12 x 4-inch rectangle and place on an ungreased or parchment-covered baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 400*F. (375*F. for convection oven).
In a saucepan, heat water and butter to boiling. Add the flour all at once and stir until smooth and stiff. Remove from heat and add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until dough is smooth and shiny. Add the almond extract. Spoon or spread the mixture over the two pastry rectangles.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed and golden. Do not overbake. Cool.
Mix the powdered sugar, softened butter, and enough cream to make a smooth frosting. Add the almond extract and drizzle over the top of the pastry. Sprinkle with the almonds or chopped filberts.
To toast nuts, spread on a baking sheet. Place in oven set at 300F. and bake 5 to 10 minutes until toasted.