Made of a thin, waferlike dough, this crisp flatbread is a holiday tradition in Iceland. Many families make it together a few days before Christmas; some Icelanders joke that it's the only time of year the men will help in the kitchen. It's first cut into intricate geometric patterns, then deep-fried and saved to be eaten as an accompaniment to Christmas dinner. Traditionally, a special tool called a leaf bread iron is used to cut the patterns, but we found a paring knife works just as well. See our step by step guide to making it »
- 3 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 1⁄2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. whole milk, heated to 115°
- Canola oil, for frying
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Using two forks or your fingers, cut butter into flour mixture, forming pea-size crumbles. Stir in milk until dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth. Divide dough into twenty-five 1-oz. balls; working with 1 ball at a time, roll dough into a 7" disk, about 1⁄16" thick. (Cover remaining dough with a damp towel to prevent dough from drying out.) Using a paring knife and working outwards from the center of disk, cut rows of nested V’s 1⁄4" apart. Use knife to lift the tip of every other V; fold each tip back to cross over the V behind it, pressing the dough to adhere. (See our step by step guide to cutting the leaf bread) Store cut dough disks between parchment paper and cover with a damp towel until ready to fry.
Heat 2" oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 400°. Fry 1 dough disk at a time, flipping once, until crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.