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Estonian Kringel (post)

Estonian Kringel (post)

For dough:

- we make yeast mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons of sugar and a little warm water that we mix and leave to rise for 10-15 minutes

- in a bowl sift the flour, add the mayonnaise, oil, salt, grated lemon peel and water in which we melted the sugar

- knead until you get a dough that no longer sticks to your hands (if it is thick, add a little more flour), then leave it to rise for an hour

- after it has grown, divide it into 2 pieces

- we spread each piece in a rectangular sheet which we moisten with the filling obtained by mixing the ingredients on the whole surface and we roll

- cut the roll in half lengthwise and weave it with the cut up, then join the ends and thus form a crown

- in the same way we proceed with the second piece of dough and place them in the tray lined with baking paper and put in the oven heated to 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on the oven

Good appetite ...!

Estonian Kringel (fasting) - Recipes

This cinnamon bread, also known as & # 8220Bread Kringel & # 8221, has been baked for hundreds of years in Estonia, for holidays, birthdays celebrations and special occasions. It originated in Germany and is basically a sweet enriched bread that & # 8217s twisted into the shape of a pretzel or a simple ring.
Recipe inspired by Chocolateoblivion

  • 125 ml Milk, lukewarm
  • 1 Egg yolk, small
  • 30 g Walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 100 g Wholegrain spelled flour
  • 200 g Spelled flour
  • 7 g Instant dried yeast
  • 50 g Butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp Slivered almond, optional
  • Powdered sugar, optional
  1. Place milk, egg yolk, walnut oil and maple syrup in the pan of your bread machine. Add in flours and the dried yeast. Select the & # 8220Dough & # 8221 cycle, and press & # 8220Start & # 8221.
  2. Mix together the cooled butter, sugar and cinnamon powder in a bowl. When the & # 8220Dough & # 8221 cycle is finished, transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it briefly.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Using a rolling pin, roll each out into a 1cm thick rectangle. Spread the 1/3 cinnamon butter mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1cm border. Roll dough up, starting lengthwise to form a Swiss roll. Seal edges well by pinching close and slice it in half lengthwise, leaving 5cm intact.
  4. Turn each half cut-side up and carefully plait the halves together, keep the cut-side up to expose the filling. Join both ends to form a round wreath and transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Brush the bread top with the remaining cinnamon mixture. Scatter the silvered almonds over if used. Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Estonian kringel

Estonian kringel of: milk, sugar, honey, yolk, salt, butter, flour, yeast, butter, sugar, cinnamon.


  • 120 ml of milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1 yolk
  • a pinch of salt
  • 30 g butter
  • 300 g flour
  • 15 g of yeast

Ingredients for spreading:

Method of preparation:

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar or honey in warm (not hot) milk and leave them for a few minutes, until they swell and small bubbles appear on top. Then add the melted but cold butter, the yolk, the salt and, finally, incorporate the flour.

You will get a slightly hard dough (but after fermentation it will be quite easy to work with it), which you let rise for 1.5-2 hours, until it doubles in volume. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the soft butter with the sugar and cinnamon.

When the dough is ready to rise, roll it out into a rectangle and grease it with 3/4 of the composition. Then roll it up and cut it in half. Then knit the 2 pieces, trying to leave the cut part visible and join the ends.

Grease the surface of the roll with the rest of the composition and transfer it to a tray covered with baking paper. Leave the cake in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 200 ° C.

Estonian Kringel (fasting) - Recipes

Post Office of Laimjala, Saaremaa (period about 1930).


January 1, 1989
Presidium of the SS of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic declared that the name of the Capital City should be spelled in Russian language in the same way as in Estonian (Tallinn).

March 2, 1990
First postal flight Tallinn - Stockholm. Soviet Unions special postmark with Soviet pentagon and Estonian three leopards on the shield. Text of the postmark in Latin lettering.

May 11, 1990
Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic's Ministry of Communications declares an open competition for designs for the Estonian own postage stamps. Date for entries June 5, 1990.

January 1, 1991
Estonian Commission for Prices enacts & quotThe Postal Services Rates & quot which becomes basis for de facto of Estonian departure from Soviet Union's postal system.

April 1, 1991
At the Head Post Office of Tallinn the up-grading of Soviet Union's postal stationery was started (franked postal envelopes and postcards) with framed purple rubber stamps. Text: EESTI / 10 (or 60) kop./POST.

May 1, 1991
Postal Communications Administration in Estonia was re-organized and continued as State enterprise under the name & quotEesti Post & quot.

July 4, 1991
First special cancellation & quotEstica 91 Avamine & quot (Opening of Estica 91) without Soviet Union's pentagon and Russian text.

August 20, 1991
The Estonian Republic is declared a Sovereign State. Estonian postal service becomes de jure independent.

October 1, 1991
Eesti Post issues postage stamps in Estonian Republic. These stamps were ordered in May 1991 and printed in Leipzig and Stockholm. New date-stamps (cancellers) with text EESTI went in to use.

October 14, 1991
Circular from the Transport and Communications Ministry of the Estonian Republic, which informs that according to the resolution of the Republics Ministerial Council from October 3, 1991 should from all official forms, stamps, seals etc. be removed the title & quotEESTI / NSV & quot (Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic). Obviously the same resolution was the basis for the removal from use of Soviet Union's postal date-stamps (cancellers).

January 1, 1992
All Soviet Union's postal pre-payment means (postage stamps, franked stationery etc.) were no more valid in Estonia.

March 30, 1992
Estonian full membership of Universal Postal Union (UPU) was restored.

June 20, 1992
Monetary reform in Estonia. EEK - 1 Kroon = 100 senses - equals to 0.125 DEM.

December 15, 1992
Eesti Post issues special Christmas stamps. These were the first postage stamps printed in Estonia after a lapse of almost 50 years.

Eesti Post
Narva mnt 1, EE 0001 Tallinn, Estonia

Philatelic shop at Lossi plats 4, EE 0002 Tallinn (Monday - Friday 9.00 - 13.00, 14.00 - 17.00)

Estonian Kringel (fasting) - Recipes

From Old English post (“Pillar, door-post”) and Latin post (“A post, a door-post”) through Old French.

Noun Edit

post (plural posts)

    A long dowel or plank protruding from the ground a fencepost a lightpost.

Derived terms Edit
  • bedpost
  • doorpost
  • fencepost
  • from pillar to post
  • gatepost
  • goalpost
  • hitching post
  • king post
  • lamppost, lamp post
  • listening post
  • milepost
  • newel post
  • poster
  • post hole
  • scratching post
  • signpost
  • tool post
Translations Edit
  • Albanian: shtyllë (sq) f
  • Arabic: عَمُود m (ʿamūd)
  • Assamese: (khuti)
  • Azerbaijani: sütun (az), dirək (az)
  • Bashkir: бағана (bağana) баған (bağan) (Eastern Bashkir)
  • Belarusian: slup
  • Bulgarian: стълб (bg) m (stǎlb)
  • Burmese: တိုင် (my) (tuing)
  • Chinese: Mandarin: 柱子 (zh) (zhùzi)
  • Czech: sloup (cs) m
  • Danish: stolpec
  • Dutch: paal (nl) m
  • Esperanto: post
  • Estonian: tulp, post (et)
  • Finnish: tolppa (fi)
  • French: poteau (fr) m
  • German: Pfosten (de) m
  • Greek: στύλος (el) m (stýlos), πάσσαλος (el) m (pássalos), κολώνα (el) f (kolóna), δοκάρι (el) n (dokári)
  • Hindi: खंभा (hi) m (khambhā), स्तंभ (hi) m (stambh)
  • Hungarian: oszlop (hu)
  • Irish: cuaillem
  • Italian: palo (it) m, pilastro (it) m
  • Japanese: 柱 (ja) (し ら, hashira)
  • Kazakh: бағана (bağana)
  • Khmer: បង្គោល (km) (bɑngkool), សសរ (km) (sɑsɑɑ)
  • Korean: 기둥 (ko) (gidung)
  • Kyrgyz: столб (ky) (stolb), түркүк (ky) (türkük), устун (ky) (ustun), карагай (ky) (karagay), багана (ky) (bagana)
  • Lao: ສະ ດົມ (sa dom), ເສົາ (lo) (sao)
  • Latin: pālusm, stipesm, cippusm
  • Latvian: stabsm
  • Lithuanian: stulpasm
  • Macedonian: дирекm (direk), столбm (stolb), колm (kol)
  • Malay: tiang (ms)
  • Maori: iti (mi), pou, turu, tuturu, koteo, himu
  • Mongolian: багана (mn) (bagana)
  • Norwegian: Bokmål: stolpem Nynorsk: stolpem
  • Persian: ستون (fa) (sotun)
  • Plautdietsch: Polm
  • Polish: słup (pl) m
  • Portuguese: mourão (pt) m (of a fence), estaca (pt) f (small), poste (pt) m (big)
  • Romanian: stâlp (ro) m
  • Russian: столб (ru) m (stolb)
  • Serbo-Croatian: Cyrillic: стубm Roman: stub (sh) m
  • Shan: လၵ်း (shn) (lák)
  • Slovak: stĺpm
  • Slovenian: steber (sl) m, stolp (sl) m
  • Spanish: poste (es) m
  • Swedish: påle (sv) c, stolpe (sv) c, grindstolpec
  • Tajik: сутун (sutun)
  • Tatar: багана (tt) (bağana)
  • Thai: สดมภ์ (th) (sà-dom), เสา (th) (sǎo), หลัก (th) (làk)
  • Tocharian B: esale
  • Turkish: direk (tr), kazık (tr), sütun (tr)
  • Turkmen: sütün, gazyk
  • Ukrainian: стовпm (stovp)
  • Urdu: ستون (sutūn)
  • Uighur: تىرەك (tirek)
  • Uzbek: ustun (uz)
  • Vietnamese: cột (vi), trụ (vi)
  • Westrobothnian: stālpm, stølm

Verb Edit

post (third-person singular simple present posts, present participle posting, simple past and past participle posted)

  1. (transitive) To hang (a notice) in a conspicuous manner for general review. Post no bills.
  2. To hold up to public blame or reproach to advertise opprobriously to denounce by public proclamation. to post someone for cowardice
    • 1732, George Granville, Epilogue to the She-Gallants, line 13 On Pain of being posted to your Sorrow / Fail not, at Four, to meet me here To-morrow.
  3. (accounting) To carry (an account) from the journal to the ledger.
    • 1712, John Arbuthnot, The History of John Bull, Chapter X You have not posted your books these ten years.
  4. To inform to give the news to make acquainted with the details of a subject often with up.
    • 1872, "Interviewing a Prince", Saturday Review, London, volume 33, number 853, March 2, page 273 thoroughly posted up in the politics and literature of the day
  5. (transitive, poker) To pay (a blind). Since Jim was new to the game, he had to post $ 4 in order to receive a hand.
Derived terms Edit

Descendants Edit

Translations Edit
  • Armenian: please add this translation if you can
  • Bulgarian: закачам обява (zakačam objava)
  • Chinese: Mandarin: please add this translation if you can
  • Esperanto: glue, post
  • Finnish: laittaaesille
  • French: afficher (fr)
  • German: please add this translation if you can
  • Khmer: បិទប្រកាស (bet prɑkaah)
  • Polish: wywiesić (pl), poster (pl)
  • Russian: приколо́ть (ru) pf (prikolótʹ), прика́лывать (ru) pf (prikályvatʹ), вы́весить (ru) pf (vývesitʹ), выве́шивать (ru) impf (vyvéš
  • Spanish: colgar (es), fijar (es)
  • Swedish: anslå (sv), sätta upp (sv), spika (sv), skriva (sv)
  • Tagalog: magpaskil
  • Thai: please add this translation if you can
  • Ukrainian: виві́шуватиimpf (vyvíšuvaty)
  • Vietnamese: dan (vi)
  • Bulgarian: поствам (postvam)
  • Finnish: postata (fi)
  • French: poster (fr)
  • German: posten (de), hochladen (de)
  • Greek: αναρτώ (el) (anartó), δημοσιεύω (el) (dimosiévo)
  • Interlingua: postar
  • Italian: postare (it), pubblicare (it)
  • Japanese: き 込 む (か き こ む, kakikomu)
  • Macedonian: објави (objavi)
  • Norman: poster
  • Polish: publować (pl) impf, opublikować (pl) pf, postować (pl) impf (slang)
  • Portuguese: postar (pt), publicar (pt)
  • Russian: постить (ru) impf (postitʹ), запостить (ru) (zapostitʹ)
  • Spanish: postear (es)
  • Swedish: posta (sv), skriva (sv), skicka (sv)
  • Vietnamese: ăng (vi)

Etymology 2 Edit

Borrowed from Middle French later, from Italian post (“Stopping-place for coaches”), feminine of posto (“Placed, situated”).

Noun Edit

post (plural posts)

  1. (obsolete) Each of a series of men stationed at specific places along a postroad, with responsibility for relaying letters and dispatches of the monarch (and later others) along the route. [16th-17th c.]
  2. (dated) A station, or one of a series of stations, established for the refreshment and accommodation of travelers on some recognized route. a stage or railway post
  3. A militarybase the place at which a soldier or a body of troops is stationed also, the troops at such a station.
  4. (now historical) Someone who travels express along a set route carrying letters and dispatches a courier. [from 16th c.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) In certain places there will always be fresh posts, to carry that further which is brought unto them by the other.
    • c.1591, William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I, scene iii, line 152 I fear my Julia would not deign my lines, / Receiving them from such a worthless post.
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England, Penguin 2012, pp. 199: information was filtered through the counting-houses and warehouses of Antwerp posts galloped along the roads of the Low Countries, while dispatches streamed through Calais, and were passed off the merchant galleys arriving in London from the Flanders ports.
  5. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand) An organization for delivering letters, parcels etc., or the service provided by such an organization. [from 17th c.] feel your way post parcel post
    • 1707, Alexander Pope, Letter VII (to Mr. Wycherly), November 11 I take it too as an opportunity of sending you the fair copy of the poem on Dullness, which was not then finished, and which I should not care to hazard by the common post.
  6. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand) A single delivery of letters the letters or deliveries that make up a single batch delivered to one person or one address. [from 17th c.]
    • a.1597, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act V, scene iii, line 273 And then in post he came from Mantua.
    • 1858, John Gorham Palfrey, History of New England, Volume 1, chapter IV, page 136 there he held the office of postmaster, or, as it was then called, post, for several years.
    Derived terms Edit
    • block post
    • crosspost
    • outpost
    • post bag, postbag
    • post box, postbox
    • postcard
    • post chair
    • post code, postcode
    • postgasm
    • postgirl
    • post-haste, posthaste
    • post horn, posthorn
    • post-horse, posthorse
    • post-house
    • postlady
    • postman
    • postmaster
    • post office, postoffice
    • post-rider, postrider
    • post town
    • postwoman
    • staging post
    • sticky post
    • take post
    • trading post
    Descendants Edit
    • Chinese: po
    • , Cantonese PO:
    • for 1 Mandarin:
    • pōu Min Nan:
    • pho͘
    • French: post
    • Irish: post
    • Italian: post
    • Malay: pos
    • Maori: pōhi
    • Polish: post
    • Portuguese: post
    • Russian: пост (post)
    • Scottish Gaelic: post
    • Spanish: post
    • Swahili: mail
    • Welsh: post
    Translations Edit
    • Arabic: بَرِيد m (barīd) Egyptian Arabic: بريد m (barīd), بوسطة f (busṭa)
    • Armenian: hy (hy) (post)
    • Azerbaijani: yam
    • Belarusian: по́штаf (post)
    • Bulgarian: поща (bg) f (pošta)
    • Catalan: correo (ca) m
    • Chinese: Mandarin: 郵件 (zh), 邮件 (zh) (yóujiàn)
    • Czech: pošta (cs) f
    • Dutch: post (nl)
    • Finnish: places (fi)
    • French: courrier (fr), poste (fr) f
    • Fula:
    • Adlam:
    • Latin: posta
    • Georgian: ფოსტა (posṭa)
    • German: Post (de) f
    • Greek: ταχυδρομείο (el) n (tachydromeío)
    • Japanese: 郵 便 (ja) (ゆ う び ん, yūbin)
    • Khmer: ប្រៃសណីយ៍ (km) (praysaʼnii)
    • Korean: 우편 (ko) (upyeon)
    • Lao: ໄປ ສະ ນີ (pai sa nī)
    • Macedonian: post office
    • Malay: pos
    • Maori: pōhi
    • Mongolian: шуудан (mn) (shuudan)
    • Moroccan: postf
    • Norwegian: Bokmål: post (no) m Nynorsk: postm
    • Persian: پست (fa) (post)
    • Plautdietsch: Postf
    • Polish: poczta (pl) f
    • Portuguese: correio (pt) m, postagemf
    • Russian: по́чта (ru) f (póčta)
    • Slovak: post
    • Swedish: post (sv) c
    • Thai: ไปรษณีย์ (th) (bprai-sà-nii)
    • Ukrainian: по́шта (uk) f (post)
    • Uzbek: pochta (uz)
    • Vietnamese: bưu điện (vi)
    • Yiddish: ָסטאָסט f or n (post)
    • Armenian: հանրագիր (hy) (hanragir)
    • Azerbaijani: paylaşım
    • Chinese: Mandarin: 帖子 (zh) (tiězi)
    • Finnish: viesti (fi), postaus (fi)
    • French: message (fr) m, billet (fr) m
    • German: Beitrag (de) m
    • Greek: ανάρτηση (el) f (anártisi)
    • Indonesian: kiriman (id)
    • Japanese: 書 き 込 み (か き こ み, kakikomi), カ キ コ (kakiko) (slang)
    • Malay: kiriman
    • Polish: post (pl) m, wypowiedź (pl) f, wiadomość (pl) f, wpis (pl) m
    • Portuguese: post (pt) m, publicação (pt)
    • Russian: сообще́ние (ru) n (soobščénije), (colloquial) пост (ru) m (post)
    • Swedish: postningc, meddelande (sv) n, inlägg (sv) n
    • Ukrainian: повідо́мленняn (povidómlennja), постm (post), до́писm (dópys)
    • Vietnamese: bài đăng

    Verb Edit

    post (third-person singular simple present posts, present participle posting, simple past and past participle posted)

    For beautiful and delicious bread that will impress the entire family, try this Estonian cinnamon kringel recipe.

    This is one of the most beautiful and delicious breads I know. Made even more so thanks to the childhood memories of this bread being made. An Estonian kringel is typically a bread made for celebrations and holidays, but really it is an easy pastry that can be made anytime you want to bring joy into the day.

    There are many versions of this kringel. Alternate fillings can include poppy seeds, cocoa powder with sliced ​​almonds (as seen to the right), or just simple butter and sugar.

    If you choose not to braid the dough, then this is known as magussai (sweet bread). But really, it is quite easy to make the pretty signature pattern that makes it a true kringel.


    1 tablespoon Monkfruit sweetener (or granulated sugar)

    1, 4-ounce envelope active dry yeast

    2 tablespoons plant-based butter, melted

    2, 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon avocado oil (or vegetable oil)

    1/4 cup plant-based butter, softened

    5 tablespoons Monkfruit sweetener (or granulated sugar)

    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    3 teaspoons ground almonds (not almond flour)

    In a medium bowl combine the warm milk, sweetener, yeast, egg yolk, and melted butter.

    In a separate large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour with the salt. Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.

    Pour the milk and yeast mixture into the flour and begin combining it by hand until it comes together into a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add the additional 1/4 cup of flour during this kneading process as required so that the end result is not too sticky or too dry. Form it into a ball.

    In a separate large bowl, grease the bottom and sides with the oil. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and give it a turn to transfer some of the oil to the surface of the dough. Cover with clingwrap, or a damp tea towel, and set it somewhere warm to rise for about an hour. It should double in size.

    When the hour is almost up, mix the cinnamon, sweetener and butter in a small bowl to form a paste. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon and set these both aside.

    Preheat the oven to 400 ° F / 200 ° C and line a sheet pan with parchment paper, or a silicone mat, then set side.

    Lightly flour a flat surface. At this time you have a choice of creating one kringel, or two as pictured above.

    If doing two kringel: separate the dough into two equal portions. Roll each portion out separately into rectangles measuring about 8-inches x 12-inches.

    If doing one kringle: roll the dough into a rectangle measuring about 18-inches x 12-inches.

    Spread the cinnamon mixture from the bowl evenly over the dough leaving about a 1/2-inch border all the way around (reserve the 1 tablespoon separated out earlier). Sprinkle the ground almonds over the cinnamon then roll the dough along the longest edge until you form a rope. Pinch one end together, then starting about 1/2-inch away from the pinched end, slice the rope all the way down its length with a sharp knife. This should leave you with two halves, joined at one end. Turn the two halves of the rope cut sides up and braid them keeping the cut sides facing upwards. When you get to the end, pinch the two halves together then join the ends into a wreath.

    Carefully transfer the dough to the sheet pan and spread the top with the reserved cinnamon mixture before baking for about 25 minutes until the kringel is golden brown. In the last 10 minutes of baking, reduce the temperature to 350 ° F / 180 ° C.

    Estonian Kringle - Cinnamon Braid Bread

    I saw this Estonian kringle about a year ago and as I like bread challenges I knew the time will come to give this beauty a try.

    • 2 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp (2g) salt
    • 3/4 cup (180ml) lukewarm milk
    • 1 tbsp (15g) sugar
    • 15 g fresh yeast (1 envelope active dry yeast)
    • 2 tbsp (30g) melted butter
    • 1 egg yolk
    • Filling
    • 1/4 cup (50g) softened butter
    • 4 or 5 tbsp (60-75g) sugar
    • 3 tsp (9g) cinnamon
    • 3 tsp grounded almonds, optional
    1. In a medium bowl stir fresh yeast with sugar until it liquefies. Stir in the lukewarm milk and then add the egg yolk and melted butter.
    2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and start kneading it until it pulls away from the edges of the bowl. Give the dough the shape of a ball. Sprinkle oil onto a clean bowl, place the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for about 1 hour at room temperature (warm space) until doubled in size. I usually put the bowl near my oven hob so the warmth get to it. It helps the dough rise very well.
    3. While the dough rises, whisk together the butter with sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside.
    4. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    5. On a floured surface, using a rolling pin roll the dough to a rectangle of about 18x12 inches. (I & # 39ve made it smaller but it would have been better to make it of 18 inch).
    6. Spoon the cinnamon filling over top (keep about 1 tbsp of the filling for the end), spreading evenly, leaving a clean 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the almonds over the cinnamon filling. Roll up the dough and using a sharp knife, cut the log in half lengthwise leaving one edge uncut for about 1/2 inch.
    7. Start braiding the two pieces, trying to keep the open layers exposed so the cut ends remain on top (this is what makes this bread effect) .Pinch the ends together and form a wreath.
    8. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the wreath with the left cinnamon filling.
    9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. For the last 10 minutes you can reduce the oven temperature to 180 C (350 F).
    10. Serve it warm as it is or with your favorite topping. It is gorgeous. :)

    Jüri Arrak: Interpreting Visual Archetypes in Estonia

    This essay looks at The Illusionist (1977), a print by Estonian artist Jüri Arrak in MoMA’s Drawings and Prints collection. It explores the larger context of the artist’s practice, which has spanned the avant-garde and turned towards mythological imaginaries, as well as represented the transformation of the strategies of resistance taken up by Estonian artists of his time.

    Jüri Arrak (born 1936) is undeniably one of the most well-known artists in Estonia. The reason for his immense popularity is probably his elaborate pictorial world. Arrak’s imagery is immediately recognizable and vaguely familiar — as if it belongs in a forgotten reality embedded deep in the collective unconscious.

    Arrak has cultivated his visual language for more than half a century, through painting and metalwork, prints, and drawings. Inspired by the pagan culture of archaic Estonia — as much as by his own imagination — his imagery represents a flexible semiotic system. His images, somewhat reminiscent of Estonian archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, nonetheless depict all kinds of events — folkloric and legendary, historical and current. Over time, Arrak’s pantheistic world view came to be more focused on specific religious subject matter, in particular, Christian ethics, which he has embraced as his own artistic mythology.

    However, Arrak hasn’t always worked with imagery from mythological, religious, folkloric, and figurative art historical traditions. In the 1960s, he belonged to ANK ’64, which is considered the first collective artist in Soviet Estonia. Active from 1964 to 1969 in Tallinn, this group served as a catalyst in the re-modernization of the local art scene. When the artistic developments of the 1920s and 1930s were squelched by the Soviet occupation in the 1940s through 1960s, digressions from the Socialist Realism canon were often met with sanctions. Nonetheless, during the Khrushchev thaw, 1 The period in which Nikita Khrushchev served as first secretary of the Communist Party (1953–1964) is generally associated with de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, and a more liberal (cultural) policy. young artists of ANK ’64 and their circle were able to break free of some of the dominating Realist paradigm.

    As ANK '64 leader Tõnis Vint (1942–2019) declared in the 1960s, contemporary artists had to be well versed in both art history and contemporary art (including art made behind the Iron Curtain), 2 Contemporary art, having extensively revealed all of the possibilities inherent in various technical qualities and having provided artists with completely new universal image structures within Pop art, creates a situation in which art emerges (along with many other phenomena), which is spiritually connected to the art of the Early Renaissance period, in terms of both its social significance and the depth of cognition. ” Tõnis Vint, “Olukord 1968” [“Situation 1968”], Visarid 1 (1968): Tõlkekogumik. Prantsuse kaasaegsest kunstist [Visarid 1 (1968): Collection of Translated Articles on Contemporary French Art], from samizdat almanac of the artist group Visarid, circulated as a machine type manuscript now in the collection of the Art Museum of Estonia, pp. 1–5. Translation by Kadi Sutter. as well as in the latest developments in science and technology. 3 “Advances in science do not just significantly alter our relationship to objects of art but also drastically change the traditional understanding of beauty. Technology, chemistry labs, schematics, charts, photos of electron microscopes, etc. have become a part of our everyday lives. All of these new forms and combinations of single elements, which are created for purely practical reasons, the new harmonies of colors and forms which we can see in photos of objects under examination, gradually, but consistently, change our understanding of beauty. Soon, we will start seeing these new forms and color harmonies in the works of contemporary artists, as a new aesthetic ideal befitting our time emerges and a new concept of beauty evolves. ” “‘ Nooruse ’rohelises auditooriumis [“ In the Green Auditorium ”]: Tõnis Vint,” Noorus, no. 8 (1968): 6–7. Translation by Kadi Sutter. This notion can be traced in Arrak's works of the second half of the 1960s, in his experiments with ready-mades, his interest in abstract and surrealist visual expression as well as historical painting — from Renaissance religious painting to nineteenth-century Russian realist works— and his allusions to the Machine Age and the encroaching Technological Age.

    The events of the Prague Spring and their upshot in 1968 disrupted the artistic freedom of the Thaw, dashing hopes that the Soviet regime might grow more liberal and open. As a result, many artists chose to abandon modernist experiments and return to more traditional forms of figuration and symbolic expression — that is, to more “acceptable” subject matter. Exploring Estonian heritage became a form of hidden resistance and a means of preserving national culture in the face of enforced Russification. It was in this context that Arrak began to develop a world of his own, one inhabited by archaic figures. Among his illustrations of Estonian and Finnish epic tales and folklore, Estonian proverbs and games, are more bizarre, ambiguous depictions that not only evoke old myths and legends, but also function as allegories for the contemporary world.

    The year 1968 marked the Prague Spring — and the founding of the Tallinn Print Triennial, an exhibition of contemporary printmaking with a focus on the Baltic region. 4 The first Tallinn Print Triennial, titled Present Day and Graphic Form, took place in 1968. Three Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — took part. Initially it was meant to be a biennial, but the exhibitions evolved into a triennial. Indeed, despite the political climate, the 1970s came to be a Golden Age of Estonian graphic culture, both conceptually and in terms of printmaking technology. Printmaking was considered lower than painting and sculpture in the Soviet hierarchy of arts, and thus was not censored as strictly. Because it allowed for more artistic freedom, many Estonian artists acquired printmaking skills, and via editioning, went on to create multiples of their images, which they sent to international exhibitions — notably, the International Print Biennial in Krakow and the Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana. In this way, local artists overcame the Soviet isolation and were able to circulate their ideas abroad. Arrak took part (as a rule, unofficially) in many such international print shows throughout the 1970s.

    The Illusionist was made in the second half of the 1970s and reflects the maturing of Arrak’s pictorial system. It depicts a man who, standing in front of an archaic fortification built of towers, wears a bizarre helmet that perhaps alludes to his special status, that is, to his connection to the world of spirits and magic. Above him, there are sets of feet and hands that may in fact extend from his headgear — it is hard to say. As the title suggests, the main subject is a magician in the middle of his performance. But instead of showing us something, he invites us to look at nothing: there is emptiness in his open chest, which makes the atmosphere of the work uncanny and surreal. Although surrealism was formally adapted in Soviet Estonia, it was seldom consistently followed as a conceptual method: Arrak’s surreal forms aim mainly at generating a sense of the fantastic. The artist was more interested in Carl Jung’s collective unconscious than in Sigmund Freud’s subconscious: he employed automatist techniques emphasizing individual visions in his earlier work, only to later turn to more consciously constructed universal or symbolic figures.

    The Illusionist might not have a concrete protagonist parallel in Estonian folklore, but it certainly evokes mythological subjects. It also has roots in the Zen Buddhist conception of emptiness, popular on both sides of the Iron Curtain at the time. As in other Soviet countries, in Estonia, Zen Buddhism, Taoism, alchemy, and other mystical teachings represented alternative knowledge, one in opposition to the Communist Materialist, or nonreligious, world view. Whether artists of this period were striving for transcendence — whether they were seeking a better reality in terms of worldly freedom or envisioning a spiritual, higher reality — is often unclear. The Illusionist is a polysemic figure, at once a dissident and a protagonist of a Buddhist aporia, an alchemical trickster and a pagan shaman. In any case, it is certain that he reveals a portal to another world. Even if we don’t know what kind of world, we feel the presence of an alternate reality—a main characteristic of an artistic mythology.

    The Illusionist is also interesting as an example of how a rather traditional-looking artwork conveys political resistance and the alternative ideas of its time. With its archaic visual language, the work touches upon several topics, none of which were approved by the Soviet regime in Estonia. And in doing so, it stands for the preservation of local culture and for individual artistic expression. This artwork embodies the archetypal notion of trespassing, the eternal attempt to reach the unknown—a universal journey named and depicted in different ways at different times and places.

    Kringel (Estonian Christmas Ring)

    Today’s bake moves away from the world of biscuits and into traditional yeasted celebration loaves. This is something called Kringel and (from the limited amount that Google was able to tell me) it originates in Estonia. This is an enriched dough flavoured with cardamom and saffron, and enlivened with cardamom butter and sultanas. Brilliant gold in appearance, and wonderfully aromatic. Oh, and it looks spectacular!

    Yes, today is my tenth Christmas baking post, and I always feel a little sense of relief come over me when I get into double digits in my festive bake-a-thon. I can see the end, and it means I’m 80% of the way there. In case you’re wondering, I’m not one of those people that plans everything in the middle of June, with posted timed to ping out with clockwork regulatory ahead of Christmas Day.

    Nope, my world is one of baking chaos, with ideas on top of ideas, changes of heart, new inspiration and abandonment of things that are either over-exposed or no longer tempting. What this all means in a more practical sense is that I’ve been off work for Christmas since Friday, and I’ve been in the kitchen pretty much non-stop to prepare food for Christmas Day but also to make sure I deliver on my Twelve Days of Baking challenge. It’s all real-time action. When I say it’s freezing outside, I don’t mean it was a chilly October day when I made something – I mean there is a December rainstorm outside! This is probably one of the reasons I will never forge a career as a food journalist – I don’t think I would be terrible good at working on a food shoot when it is warm and sunny outside (although I would like a lot more natural light to come streaming in through the kitchen windows than I get at the moment…yesterday it seemed to get dark at quarter to three!).

    Today’s recipe is one that sort of evolved in my kitchen. A few weeks ago, I decided to look for some festive ideas from countries that I’m not so familiar with, and once of them was the Estonian Kringel. Oddly, I was not actually able to find out that much about it beyond the shape. Most of the versions I saw online seemed to involve cinnamon, and while this is normally my absolutely favourite spice, I wondered if that was all there was to it. A little more digging suggested that the traditional flavour was not in fact cinnamon, but could involve saffron or cardamom. Cardamom made sense, given the frequency with which it appears in the baking of neighbouring Sweden and Finland. And saffron suggested some sort of link to Swedish luciabullar, those brilliant golden swirls. This did get me thinking…what about using the two of them? I have to admit that this was a strange combination that I would not have thought of putting together myself, so I checked it out in my trusty Flavour Thesaurus. Helpfully, this combination had an entry, and was recommended as a combination. It looked like aromatic, rich saffron and zesty, fresh cardamom would be a winner, and I was sold.

    For the dough, I’ve just adapted my recipe for Swedish cinnamon buns which worked out just fine. The dough contains a decent amount of butter, but not too much sugar. Most of the sweetness comes from the sweet cardamom butter used in the filling in any event, and I knew already that this was a dough that could cope with being rolled out and sliced up.

    The fun bit here is how you shape the kringel. You roll out the dough, spread with the filling and the sultanas, the roll it into a long sausage. Next, slice it lengthways, and then you twist the two halves so that the cut side is exposed. This gives you the pretty ridged effect when the kringel is baked. In fact, the only tricky part here is getting a neat join when you form the whole thing into a ring. I’ve now made two of these things, and in each case, the joint was, eh, less than perfect. However, one tip I can share is that the loaf looks better if you keep the twists fairly tight (if they are not tight, then loaf is loose and does not get as much height as you want).

    So there you have it – a loaf that looks fabulous and really does not take that much work to make. And trust me on the saffron and cardamom combination – it might seem odd, but it really is wonderful. It’s a nice contrast to some of the other flavours about at this time of year, but it still makes this taste like a very special treat indeed.

    So now, dear reader, a little request from me – does anyone know more about this bread? If you’re Estonian or just a fan of their baking, please do get in touch and let me know!

    To make a Kringle:

    • 3 generous pinches saffron
    • 2 tablespoons boiling water
    • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
    • 50g sugar
    • 60g butter
    • 150ml milk, scalded and cooled
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 generous teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
    • 350g strong white flour
    • cardamom filling (see below)
    • 150g sultanas
    • milk, to brush before baking

    For the cardamom butter filling:

    • 60g butter, soft
    • 60g caster sugar
    • 3 teaspoons ground cardamom

    1. Crush the saffron and mix with the boiling water. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes for the colour to develop.

    2a. If using a bread machine: Throw everything into the mixing bowl (apart from the cardamom filling and sultanas). Run the “dough” cycle. Simples!

    2b. If making by hand: put the flour and butter into a bowl, and rub with your fingers until the butter has been incorporated. Fold in the salt, sugar, cardamom and yeast. In a separate bowl, combine the saffron, milk and egg, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon, then work with your hands until you have a smooth, stretchy, silky dough (at least 5 minutes). Leave the dough a warm place for an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Knock back and knead again for 2-3 minutes.

    3. Make the cardamom butter – put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.

    4. Once the dough is ready, turn it onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle of around 30 x 60cm (my rolling pin is 30 cm long, so use that as a rule of thumb). Spread with around four-fifths of the cardamom butter filling, sprinkle with the sultanas and then roll up into a sausage.

    5. Use a sharp knife to cut the sausage lengthways. Arrange the two strips, cut side up. Starting at one end, twist the pieces around each other, keeping the cut sides face-up at all times. Form into a wreath, then join the ends, tucking them into each other as tightly as you can. Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Cover loosely with cling film or place in a large plastic bag, and leave to rise for at least an hour until doubled in size.

    6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Brush the loaf with the milk and bake for around 25 minutes until puffed up and golden but not too dark.

    7. To finish the loaf, take the reserved cardamom butter. Melt in a saucepan, and add two tablespoons of milk. Bush the hot glaze over the warm kringle.

    Worth making? This loaf looks amazing, but is actually incredibly straightforward to make. If you’ve got a bread machine to do all the heavy lifting, then it really takes very little work at all! It makes a spectacular centrepiece for a breakfast or coffee morning, and can be easily customised according to taste (for example, make it with cinnamon and/or other types of dried fruits).


    Estonian kringle… “The” brioche that recently triggered a real tidal wave on the blogosphere! My own tidal wave comes from my teen memories.

    When I think of “brioche”, I am very far from Estonia. I am in Haute-Savoie with my childhood friend Nourit, at the beginning of our culinary awakening, and we are 15.

    It was March 1982. We were at a girls’ boarding school where, for our education, we also had to learn… how to “cook”.

    This year, for the holiday of Purim (Jewish carnival commemorating the story of Queen Esther), we learned that because of the chef’s vacation, we would have to settle for a standard meal without the sweet treats that are the highlights of this festival.

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    No way! That was without counting on the temerity of Nourit and Vera!

    We were all barely 15 and we were so sad not to be able to enjoy those sweets, as we did at home.

    And here are two young teenage girls who ask to talk to the wife of the director of our beloved boarding school. I do not know if our words or our sad face did the trick, but it seems that we managed to convince her to let us cook but also invade the commissary!

    After three phone calls across the Mediterranean, we finally had the famous recipes from our moms and grandmas who had dictated them to us. In addition to the many sweets, Nourit and I made our first brioches that day! Four little hands for over 200 individual brioches which were a resounding success!

    I should add that our director and his wife who obviously shared our meals, couldn’t say enough praises regarding our culinary talent which improved day by day (so they said). We couldn’t be prouder!

    There is nothing fancy in kringle ingredients as they are similar in all respects to all brioches. However, its ridged crown shape which is unique to Estonia, is quite original but very technical.

    This is the second time that I remake a recipe since the birth of our blog. I had a similar issue during the preparation of my Cypriot pastellakis. I was not satisfied at all with the first batch of kringel. I was not able to get perfect ridges on my first attempt. I was not satisfied by the aesthetics even though my guinea pigs’ for the week did not agree with me. And to be honest, I don’t think I reached perfection on the second attempt.

    Kringel can be made in a multitude of flavors both sweet and savory so I will have many opportunities to perfect the technique of this ridged crown. The original and most widely adopted version is the one made with a mixture of melted butter, sugar and cinnamon.