Thursday, November 13, 2008


I LOVE the holidays. Love love love. 

There are so many birthdays, so many holidays, days off, excuses to make and eat baked goods galore. One of my very favorite baked goods is still a mystery to me. 

(just imagine it drizzled with a sugar glaze, that's how it will be served tomorrow)

My father always obsessed about Krantz. A Polish pastry he had as a child. My Mom procured the recipe (from my Dad's mother, I believe), and handed it on to me when I decided I'd make it a few years back for Daddy for Christmas morning breakfast. Since then I've decided that it shall be a tradition. I also brought this bread over to Dan's family dinner for Christmas, and was told that it will be expected from now on! This year I'm going to bring it to two separate potlucks at work - partly because I want to expose the world to it's wonderfulness, and partly because I have a Polish co-worker, and I want to share the love.

I've done some (admittedly half-hearted) Googles on Krantz, and really not made much progress on what it exactly is. A Polish/German braided or knotted egg bread. Often includes poppy seeds - however, none of the recipies (as few as there are) that I have found have looked anything like our family's Krantz. It's buttery, it's eggy, it's got nuts and cinnamon and sugar and poppy seeds, it's doughy and flakey, rich and light, sweet and decadent. 

Thing is, this recipe is quite unique on it's own. It's descriptive, yet leaves out many details. It's the sort of recipe that should be learned at Grandmother's side, measurements done by feel and eye, kneading just so to get the dough texture just right. Problem is, all I have to go on is my Father's description of the pastry he grew up with, and this curtly written recipe.

And so, it's never ended up the same, I'm always experimenting with the leeway the recipe gives me. And so far, it's never ended up anything but irresistible

Sadly for you, I will not share the recipe - I feel it should remain a family secret. So you'll just have to come over to my place around Christmas time and hope we haven't eaten it all! 


Kristijoy said...

I was speaking to someone recently who was from Germany, and Kranz means "wreath" and her grandmother made a different one for each occasion, Easter, summer fall and Christmas. But they were all from a yeast dough. Chances are they are pretty regional and family specific.
It's a yeast dough sweet. I imagine there are savory versions as well.
You know it migh tbe worth getting in touch with marsha to find out more. I am nt sure granma Falkowski would be easy to reach but her as well. Ask Dad.

and you better make Kranz when I come visit!!! =D

We have a cafe here called coffee and kranz I think, but they. Alas, do not serve any pastries I recognize as kranz.

Ammy Lea said...

I think that's one of my main problems - the recipe Mom has spells it Krantz, not Kranz.. I bet the other spelling will help with searches. And yes, almost all of the recipies I did find last I tried to look it up were savory! And mostly were a more kneeded, stiffer bread dough than what I always end up with.

I will totally make Kran(t)z for your visit!

Ammy Lea said...

MMmmm seasonal krantz... maybe that will be a tradition too..

Kristijoy said...

thought you might like this article about family recipes.

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