IDP#29 Iceland: The 12 hour Thunder Bread

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Skonsur ( Small thick pancakes – we call them pikelets here)
Mayonnaise and Sour Cream spread
Topped with shrimp, meat, salmon or plain

Sam and I sat down together to choose the menu for tonight. Skonsur (Skonsa) looked good to him, it was something recognizable, we make very similar things called pikelets, except ours are sweeter and of British origin. Skonsur is like the english word scones, but these are basically small (american-style) pancakes. Topped with a spread of mixed Mayonnaise and Sour Cream shrimps, meat or salmon.

Probably more an adult flavor, because the boys were expecting them to be sweeter they weren’t as popular with them as I thought they’d be. I especially left some with no toppings for the boys, and although they all disappeared, you can see from Sam’s rating they weren’t quite what he was expecting – maybe if I’d let them but jam on them they would have been happier.

Sam’s Rating: 5/10

Beinlausir Fuglar (Boneless Birds – not actually birds though!)
served with peas, potatoes and Rhubarb Jam
Rúgbrauð (Black Bread or Thunder Bread)
with Cheese and Meats
Jolabland (Christmas beverage unique to Iceland)

We were looking through main meal recipes, and more than a couple involved Puffins, which we definitely couldn’t get here, so we moved on, we came across a recipe which translated to “Boneless Birds” – Sma loved the name, so he was sold on that!

And again the name sold it for same on the bread, when I asked if he;d like to make brown bread or black bread, he of course chose the most different sounding one, and when he found out it was also known as Thunder Bread, he grinned all over. It wasn’t until afterwards going through the recipes I found out the unique cooking method of this bread.

We found a drink recipe that Sam was keen on for Ginger Milk, but it seemed like a home-grown recipe rather than a national drink, then I stumble upon Jolabland, a unique Icelandic Christmas drink mix, that might just do the trick. While the specific brand of orange soda and malt extract aren’t available here, fanta and Guinness apparently are very close to the original flavor – so it’ll just be a small taste for the boys I guess, then they can just have the Fanta.

Now, this Black Bread… I read the recipe… and I read it again… Apparently traditionally this recipe is sometimes either slow boiled in a natural hot spring, or buried in sand near a hot spring. The alternative for those of us without a hot spring in the backyard is to cook it in the oven at 212˚F (100˚C) for 12 hours, yeah that’s right 12 hours… I wasn’t too sure about this, I thought it’s more than likely I’d end up with a couple of bricks at the end of the cooking, but… nothing lost nothing gained. So away I went and left it cooking overnight – and guess what? – and the loaves turned out perfectly, dark rye bread with a distinct molasses smell although there was no molasses involved. I love the bread, and am having the remaining loaf for lunch this week topped with cheese – goes great with soup! Sam on the other hand found that although it had a cool name it was not quite what he was expecting, it had a stronger flavor than he is used to in his bread – but that’s okay I guess… he tried it – and I get the rest!

Apparently Icelandic cynics will say Coca-cola is Iceland’s national drink, because the consumption per capita is the highest in the world. But Coca-cola would have been a cop out so… Jolabland was the choice.

Jolabland – I forgot to take a photo of this, but it basically looks like Coca-cola. It’s a mix of two beverages, when you drink it you get the sweet taste of the Fanta at first, which is followed but the stout flavor of the malt, it’s interesting and different, Sam wasn’t so keen, Ryan finished his share – but after that they both asked for plain Fanta.

As for the main dish, it sounded quite fiddly to make, it’s thin strips of lamb, beef or horse meat (we choose beef!) rolled in pepper and salt and then bacon place don top and rolled into a spiral and tied with string, or pinned with a toothpick to hold it in place. Now as I said with the Dutch Slavinken, anything rolled in bacon is good – and it is just as true in Iceland as it is in the Netherlands. The boys loved it, Mum and Dad loved it… and there was none left… we served it with Potatoes, Peas and mushrooms, and it was supposed to have rhubarb jam as well, which I totally forgot and that got left in the fridge. But I think we’ll have this again, so the rhubarb jam won’t go to waste!

Sam’s Rating: 10/10 (Gotta say I agree with him there – we’ll have that again!)

Sam’s Rating: 4/10
Dad’s Rating: 10/10
(I’ve been having it with the cheese for lunch everyday this week)

Sam’s Rating: 5/10

Vînaterta (Layer Cake)
Cocoa Súpa (Cocoa Soup)

Dessert! The boys favorite meal!

Mine too!

Sam loved the idea of this layer cake, so that was his choice. Other options were Mandarínu-ostakaka (Mandarin-orange cheesecake), but Sam said “I’m not big on cheese”, I said it didn’t have cheese in it – but the name was enough for him. There was also something called Astabollur (translates to Love Muffins) but the look almost identical to the Netherlands’ Oliebollen, Pönnukökur were also an option, but we’ve done pancakes in various forms a few times already.

So layer cake it was. I must learn to read these recipes before I agree to them, this one involved cooling 6 separate layers of dough separately then sandwiching a stewed prune mixture between them and compressing. It wasn’t hard, but I was up late making it.

But it was worth it – it was a hit with everyone, on the night Sam had at least two servings – he has asked to have it for dessert every night since, and we promised Mum and Dad a quarter to take home with them.

Cocoa soup was very similar to Hot Cocoa, just less sugar and more cocoa, and use of a thickener to give it a bit more body, plus a touch of salt. I thought it might not be sweet enough for everyone, but the coca was nice and strong and it went down a treat on a cold winter night. I forgot to photograph the soup, but it just looked like a hot cocoa…

Sam’s Rating: Infinity/Infinity

Sam’s Rating: 10/10


4 thoughts on “IDP#29 Iceland: The 12 hour Thunder Bread

  1. Pingback: International Dinner: Norwegian pepper cookies and fish burgers | The International Dinner Project

  2. Pingback: Cheesecake, Iceland style at Bláa Kannan in Akureyri | Happy Sushi Belly

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