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!