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Laufabraud (Icelandic Leaf Bread)

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Shortening or vegetable oil for frying

Makes 5 breads.

Heat the milk and butter in a pan to just below a boil. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder. Pour the milk mix into the center and stir. The dough will be very stiff. Turn onto a floured cloth and knead thoroughly. Cover with a clean, dampened kitchen towel and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 5 portions. Keep the towel on top of the ones you aren't working on. Roll as thin as possible - a heavy rolling pin is essential. You should be able to almost see through the dough. Place a small dinner plate or a pan lid(about 7 inches) on top of the rolled-out dough and cut dough into a circle. Fold the dough in half and use a knife or scissors to cut slits in the dough in a pattern. (The way you made snowflakes from construction paper as a child). Pull the slits open and press to the back side of the dough, or simply cut away the pieces of dough and fry them as snacks after you've made the leaf bread.

In a deep frying pan, heat shortening or oil -1/2 inch deep over medium-high heat. When oil is just starting to smoke, gently slide a bread into the oil. When it rises to surface, turn over and cook for about 30 seconds more, or until just turning golden. Drain on paper towels. Store in dry, airtight container.

Nutrition per bread: 157 calories (20 percent from fat), 3.8 g fat (2 g saturated, 0.9 g mono unsaturated), 8.5 mg cholesterol, 5.7 g protein, 27.4 g carbohydrates, 4.4 g fiber, 193 mg sodium.

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