Kärtner Reindling or Carinthian Reindling to you and me

Yes Carinthian – not Corinthian – and yes I had no idea a province of Austria was called Carinthia. Of course it isn’t. In German it is called Kärnten and it is a picture perfect alpine province of Austria which has just got onto our the travel list.

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This wonderfully swirled cake is the local delicacy of sweetened bread dough rolled over rum soaked fruit packed with spices, and is usually served at Easter …… or when a child has been born, or when someone has died. In my case none of those apply – well this week anyway.

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And why Reindling? Well a Reindl is Austrian German for a casserole pot which is what traditionally this is baked in, though in recent years the gugelhupf and similar tins have gained in popularity.

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It sits alongside similar  rolled yeasted cakes that you find all over Central Europe . In Slovenia they have the Potic which takes the rolling to another level, in Croatia they have the Povitica and in Northern Italy they the Gubana which is less rolled and uses chocolate in the paste and elsewhere in Austria a similar rolled cake is called Pogatscha or Pohaca. All involve the same technique of rolling dough tight to get a many layered cake, and the variety of fillings is dazzling – from apple, honey, poppyseed, to nuts of many varieties and  dried fruit. I haven’t found a savoury version but I fail to see why the technique couldn’t be adapted to savoury ingredients.

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Google is a wonderful as with enough searching you find wonderful titbits of information. Should you ever want Austrian citizenship you absolutely must read this blog as one of the questions on their citizenship test requires you to know what a Reindling is. Its inclusion in the test caused some political waves back in 2006 where the immigration was critcised for including arcane questions about Austrian regional foods.  I have to say I am rather charmed. The British citizenship test is much more pedestrian.

This is not a complex bake though having some bread making experiencey will help. It involves making an enriched dough with eggs, sugar , milk and spices, rolling it flat , slathering  it with butter, sugar and cinnamon, scattering rum soaked raisins over it and then rolling it up tight. You can leave the top of it plain, glaze it with egg or if using a non-stick tin, scatter sugar in the tin to create a caramelised crust. I wasn’t sure about the sugar myself as I was convinced it would make it stick but it didn’t and frankly next time I would use more to get a thicker crust.

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It is traditionally served either with poppyseed butter (there is already a whole pack in here), and with ham and a side dish involving eggs, horseradish, vinegar and sour cream. I have reproduced the recipes here but have to say I haven’t tried them yet.

There are a few curves to avoid based on the mistakes I made. The first one is putting the spices in the dough.  The recipe gave me that option saying it would make for a much spicier cake  which it does, but it also colours the dough so the swirls are not very visible which is a deep shame. You can just about make out the swirls but it would have been so much better had the dough been white.

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Also don’t roll the dough too thin – 2 to 5mm is what you are after. Fold over the edges so the two ends that join are full of fruit, and it you are using a gugelhupf tin then make sure the roll is big enough to join the 2 ends but not so big that they overlap – you will end up with a lopsided cake at the end of it – as I did.

Make sure the end of the roll is on the bottom (or the top if you are using a gugelhopf) so the cake comes out nice and neat – I was in a little bit of a hurry, which is always fatal to a good bake.

The other thing to avoid is the layers separating. One tip was not to preheat the oven. This  means the yeast doesn’t do its final burst of energy too quickly as it does with normal bread making, making the final rise a little more controlled.

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Other than that, enjoy yourself with this – and should you ever find yourself taking that citizenship test you now know one of the answers.

The Recipe

Ingredients

The Dough

  • 500g white bread flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 250ml milk
  • 1tsp salt
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 12g instant yeast

The Filling

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 140g soft brown sugar
  • 1tsp ground star of anise
  • 1tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 heaped tsps cinnamon
  • seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 170g raisins or currants (soaked in 2 tbsp rum for a few hours before)

For the toppings

  • either 1tbsp Cream and egg yolk for a shiny glaze
  • or sugar and brown butter for the caramelised topping

To bake in

  • 8″ spring form tin or
  • Gugelhopf tin

The Method

The Dough

  • combine all the dough ingredients
  • knead for 10 minutes to form a dough
  • round into a ball, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size
  • press the dough back and allow to rise to double the size again

Forming the Roll

  • melt the butter
  • mix the spices and sugar together
  • roll out the dough to about 50cm x 45cm – 2-5mm thick
  • brush the dough with butter
  • scatter the sugar and spices evenly over the dough
  • the scatter the dried fruit over it
  • fold over the edges to square off
  • roll tightly from the long side

Baking for a caramelised crust

  • if you want a sweet caramelised crust  in a gugelhupf tin
    • melt the  butter and brush your tin (it needs to be a non stick one)
    • scatter sugar inside
  • for a a more rustic feel
    • wind your roll into the cake tin in a snail shape
    • brush the top with the egg and cream mixture just before going into the oven after the next stage
  • cover and allow to rise to double the size
  • bake in the oven from cod at 190C/170C fan for 40-45minites
  • allow to cool for 10 minutes
  • take out of tin and allow to cool completely before eating

Traditional Austrian Serving Suggestions

I haven’t tried these though the poppyseed butter sounds lovely

Poppyseed Butter

  • 250g butter softened
  • 80g ground poppyseed (ground is important for the flavour, you can find it in german delis or amazon – forget ready for a messy time with your pestle and mortar)
  • 2tbsp honey

Cream the butter, spread on a piece of clingfilm and form a rectangle, mix the honey and poppyseed, spread over the butter, roll the butter up into the cylinder, place in fridge to set, serve in slices.

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Carinthian Egg and Horseradish Sauce (Kärtner Eierkren)

Supposedly Reindling is served at Easter with Ham.  I do do hope this sauce is served with the ham and not the Reindling!

  •  4 hardboiled eggs chopped
  • 3tbsp freshly grated horseradish
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 250ml sour cream
  • 1/2 a cooking apple grated
  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 pinch of sugare
  • salt and pepper
  • mustard to taste

Mix the ingredients and serve.

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