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Icelandic Rye Bread (Rugbrauð) Recipe

Photo courtesy Iceland Travel.

Photo courtesy Iceland Travel.

Traditionally prepared over the course of 12 or more hours by placing the dough into covered pots and sinking these into geothermal springs, can be more quickly prepared in a slow cooker. It’s very similar in consistency to Boston Brown Bread.

Yield: Two 1-pound loaves.

2 1/2 cups rye flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk, scalded and slightly cooled until lukewarm
1 Tbsp. molasses
2 cups (approximately) hot water

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together dry ingredients. Mix in brown sugar.

Stir the molasses into the warm milk until it dissolves, then slowly stir milk into the dry ingredients. (Note: The dough hook of a mixer works great for this). Knead the dough until it is shiny and all the flour is incorporated. Divide into two sections.

Butter the inside of two tin cans (at least 19 ounces each – watch out for sharp edges) or two ceramic bowls or ramekins, each large enough to hold 1 1/2 cups of batter (Important: The dough will rise while cooking, and so whichever molds you use should only be filled 2/3 below the top edge).

Tent the molds with aluminum foil, leaving about an inch of air space for the bread to rise inside as it cooks. Secure the edges of the foil tightly around the rims of the molds with twine or rubber bands.

Place the molds in your slow cooker (rest cans, if using, on a trivet or canning jar lid inside the cooker to help the steam circulate). Pour in enough hot water to cover the lower half of the molds (about two cups).

Put the lid on the cooker and raise heat to high. Allow to simmer for 4 hours, checking occasionally to ensure that the water hasn’t boiled out.

Remove bread and serve immediately with butter, cold pickled herring, lamb pate, cold meats, or cheese.

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Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor

Yvette Cardozo from the Seattle, Washington area, likes to visit interesting places and learn about interesting cultures and, if a tasty local dish is involved, so much the better. She’s eaten everything from gourmet food at the world’s finest restaurants to native food in Asia, the arctic, and all kinds of places in between.Yvette recalls being in Antarctica and going out on the land with Inuit elders in arctic Canada , then bagging a caribou. They dragged it back to camp and ate it on the spot raw. She quips, “Hey, if you like steak tartare….”Yvette, who is a veteran skier and diver, is RFT’s Ski & Dive Editor.