Showing posts from March, 2011

Danish pastries, part 2: Spandauers

The most popular types of Vínarbrauð in Iceland are the "lengja", which you could simply call a "long Danish", and the type known in Scandinavia as "Spandauer", which is a one-portion squarish Danish with custard or jam centre. In Iceland, depending on where you come from, you either call them "sérbökuð vínarbrauð" (individually baked Viennese pastries), Dönsk vínarbrauð (Danish) or "Umslög" (envelopes). Today's instructions are for Spandauers. The most popular filling for Spandauers is custard, but jam or fruit are also good.

To put it all together:
Prepare the pastry dough as given in the last post. Cut the dough into even-sized squares. For 10 cm squares put 1 tbs of custard (or thick jam, e.g. raspberry) in the middle of each square. Fold one corner into the middle, then the opposite corner, then repeat with the other two corners. Do not crimp or overlap, as the corners are meant to pull back from the middle while baking.

You …

Danish pastries, part 1: The basics

I got my first request for Vínarbrauð several years ago, but somehow I never got round to posting a recipe until now. I am posting this in three parts.

The pastries known to most of the rest of the world as Danish pastries are called by a name that means "Viennese Bread" in the Nordic countries. In Icelandic it's Vínarbrauð. The story says that Danish bakers learned to make a type of leavened flaky pastry from Viennese bakers, perhaps similar to croissant pastry, and made it their own, Here is a longer version of the story (the article also contains images of a few of the possible variations). These kinds of pastries are very popular in Iceland, and you can buy them in every bakery and many supermarkets. I am going to give recipes for the three most popular types of vínarbrauð: Spandauers and two varieties of what are called "lengjur" in Icelandic.

For the pastry you will need:
500 g flour
ground cardamom to taste
50 g margarine
50 g fresh yeast
50 ml water

To Rosemary

My reply to your e-mail bounced, so I'm posting my reply here in the hope that you will visit the blog again and see it:

Hello Rosemary,

I hear from time to time from people who have been stationed in Keflavik or who have accompanied their spouses there, and it's always interesting to see what foods they miss (usually the fish and the hot dogs, but also miscellaneous other stuff).

As it happens, both Gunnars mayonnaise and smoked lamb can be ordered on-line through the website The following links will take you to the right pages: for mayonnaise:
and for smoked lamb:

However, you should check if there are any import restrictions either product before you order.

Best regards and I hope you get the chance to visit Iceland again. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with and do not get paid for mentioning them here. I have never used them myself and don'…