One of my favorite Icelandic foods is rúgbrauð, a dense, dark rye bread sweetened with molasses (actually very similar to Boston brown bread).  Nothing better than a big slice smeared with smjör.  Mmm.  A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a recipe – but it was in Icelandic.  With the help of an Icelandic dictionary, I translated the ingredients, as well as enough of the directions to realize they weren’t going to work for me.  See, traditionally, rúgbrauð is baked by placing the dough in a covered container and burying it in the ground near a hot spring.  Unfortunately, my neighborhood is running low on hot springs, and since I didn’t feel like taking a road trip to Yellowstone just to make a loaf of bread, I decided to improvise.  I mixed up the dough more or less according to directions (substituting buttermilk for súrmjólk, a thin yogurt-like product unavailable here).  Then I poured it into two loaf pans, set those in a 9 x 13 casserole dish, and filled it halfway with water (I’ve heard that a water bath can help recreate the steaming process).  I totally guessed at the oven temperature and baking time, but miracle of miracles, it turned out, and it was actually really good!

I’d call that a success… notice the already half-eaten loaf in the background…

What Icelandic recipe should I tackle next?


6 thoughts on “rúgbrauð


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