The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world.
I finally have a recipe for you again, Reader! This one is thanks to the Daring Bakers April Challenge: Easter Bread. I know, Easter is over, but you can file this away until next year or make it just because. I chose to make an Austrian Easter bread that’s another iteration of cinnamon-raisin goodness, for which you probably know I have a fondness (see here and here).
This Kärntner Reindling comes specifically from the state of Carinthia (Kärnten), the part of Austria in the eastern Alps that borders both Italy and Slovenia. I’ve never actually been there, save my train transfer on the way to Venice, but at the baking day I did back in March a real Kärntnerin (woman from Carinthia) demonstrated how to make a Reindling. She handed out a recipe, too, but apparently it was two pages and I only have one, so I’ve improvised a bit with the help of the Internet.
I do, however, have her notes about the history of the Reindling, which she claims should actually be spelled without the D, Reinling, because it is/was baked in a pan called a Rein. However, most people seem to go with the form with the “d,” so that’s what I’ve chosen to do. In some places it is also called a Schartling, after another type of baking pan called a Scharte. It’s also often baked in a Gugelhupf pan, which is similar to a bundt cake pan.
Though some people call it a cake, it is traditionally served alongside ham and eggs at Easter. It is sweet, but not overly so, and the main flavors are ones that can go sweet or savory, namely raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon. The dough is an enriched white bread with a large crumb. I can totally see why people serve it with ham, but it’s just as good with a cup of tea as a mid-morning snack or as dessert in the evening.
For the dough
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 T butter, very soft
- 1 cup milk
For the filling
- 4 T butter, melted, divided into 3 T and 1 T
- 2 T cinnamon
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
In the bottom of a large bowl, activate yeast with 1 T warm water and a pinch of sugar. Let sit for about five minutes, until very bubbly. Add the remaining dough ingredients (flour, egg, sugar, salt, butter, and milk) and stir to combine. The dough will be very soft and sticky! When all ingredients are fully incorporated, cover and set aside. Let rise until doubled, about one hour or one and a quarter hours. In the meantime, you can grease a baking dish at least 8×8″ square. An oval casserole dish would be good, but it doesn’t matter too much. I used my trusty 9×7″ nonstick cake pan.*
When dough has doubled in size, turn onto a heavily floured surface. Flour your hands as well, and knead for about five minutes, using as much flour as necessary. Start slowly, and beware that if you don’t use enough flour, it will stick!
Roll the dough into a 12×18″ rectangle. It should be about 1/3 of an inch thick. Brush with 3 T melted butter, then top with cinnamon, sugar, raisins, and walnuts, distributing everything evenly. Roll up the dough. Carefully coil it (so it resembles a snail shell) and place in the greased pan. Cover and let sit for thirty minutes.
While it is sitting, preheat the oven to 350ºF. After the rise, brush with remaining 1 T melted butter and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and baked through. Let cool most of the way in the pan before removing, to prevent the coil from breaking. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
*Or use a Gugelhupf or bundt cake pan. Instead of rolling your dough to 18 inches wide, just make sure you roll it to whatever size you need to fit in your pan.