Where does the quiet history of the baker reside? In the dilapidated ruins of ancient civilizations? Or in the failing masonry of eleventh century European buildings. If I were to lay my ear upon these stones, would I hear the soft murmurs of ancient oven doors, of an artisan bread song or the benching and rolling of laminated doughs?
I am now in the Laminated Pastry station. In class I was told today from a reliable source [a 4th generation Baker from Denmark], about Denmark and it's bakery history. We were making Kringles. Kringles are Danish pastries and are based from Danish pastry [Weinerbrod dough]. The demonstration was on the "Wisconsin Kringle". The Wisconsin Kringle varies immensely from traditional Danish Kringle, due to the Round or oval shape and 10 additional fillings. You can follow this link to learn a little history & the process of Wisconsin Kringles from a old world Danish bakery in Wisconsin .
The Danish are quite rigid in keeping with their traditional pastry standards. The traditional filling for the Danish Kringle is :
- a thin layer of Remonce [ mixture of butter, sugar,vanilla can contain : almond paste, white cake crumbs, honey] ;
- Pastry Cream [handmade custard];
- Finally a thin roll of Almond Filling [Paste : crushed almonds or apricot kernels,butter,sugar; Then mixed with egg whites and more sugar]
The Pastry before fill is carefully rolled out with a French rolling pin into long strips, and the width is no bigger than 3-4 inches. The 2 fillings are spread in a 2 inch stripe in the center of the pastry, then the roll of almond filling is centered onto the stripe. The edges are brought up and over the filling to form a seem. It is then rolled out slightly on the bench. Here a baker from Edgar's Bakeri [bakeri is bakery in Danish] is forming the traditional Danish shape :
From as far back into Danish history, the Kringle has been a symbol of bakery. In fact the Kringle symbol means "home of the baker". Buildings from the middle ages and stones in graveyards can be found with the Kringle symbol. In modern day Denmark, neon signs loom over the walk ways, beckoning foot traffic. So if you are ever in Denmark, look for home - home of the baker.