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O&H Bakery churning out kringle for Christmas

Posted at 1:42 PM, Dec 10, 2018

RACINE -- A bakery in Racine County is ramping things up this holiday season to help families celebrate a tradition.

O&H Danish Bakery has been in business since 1949. Their number one selling product is by far the kringle, a pastry that is much older than them. 

"Kringle was introduced in Racine by Danish Bakers over a century ago," Eric Olesen with O&H Danish Bakery said. "It was a pretzel shaped coffee cake. It's morphed into this oval pastry with a variety of different fillings and toppings."

Olesen is a third generation baker at O&H. A lot has changed over the years. They used to have one oven and would roll the dough out with wooden rolling pins. Now, there are some 200 employees and there are conveyor belts churning out the products for them to hand toss. 

But one thing has stayed the same. O&H still churns out a high quality product with the same recipe they had nearly 70 years ago. 

"It's a tradition in their lives," Olesen said. "When they move out of Racine, their heart is here with kringle."

"Kringle is a part of everything," Linda Schauf of Racine said. 

"You move to Racine, you have to eat kringle," Steven Henle of Racine said.

"I have a list from people I work with to bring back," Becky Cockrill of Columbus, OH said. 

Cockrill was at Lambeau Sunday with her family for the Packers game. Before she went back to Ohio, she knew she had to make a stop at O&H Danish Bakery. 

"We had this all the time," Cockrill said. "Weekends, breakfast. Unless I freeze them, they're not a part of my life. I have to send an email at work saying it's in the break room and it disappears in about 10 minutes."

This year, the traditional Wisconsin pastry got a twist. O&H is making an egg nog kringle which has been selling very well. 

"Egg nog has a lot of tradition in people's homes and holidays," Olesen said. "It was a natural place to go with flavor that, once we mastered it, would be really popular."

Olesen says this time of year, they sell about 5,000 kringle a day. The egg nog kringle has been selling out every day. They will make the flavor through Christmas.