The chef and the Lagoon: Now we all want to go to there.
Today, Chef Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon (let's see what the internet does to those diacriticals! that's Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson) from Lava Restaurant on the Blue Lagoon in Iceland came by the office to feed us some Icelandic seafood, lamb, harðfiskur (aka "Viking snacks," in this case dried haddock, which someone said was like fish jerky, eaten with lovely Icelandic butter), and geothermally baked rye bread (for real). The seafood—torched langoustine, smoked char, cured salmon—was exquisite, and the lamb was excellent (it grazes on herbs in the Icelandic highlands, so it's seasoned from the inside out). If you want to get some while he's here, you'd better get right on it; the $65 prix fixe menu at the Dahlia Lounge from now through Sunday is almost all booked.
The other part of this Seattle/Reykjavik sister-city-promo thing is a free concert at Nuemos on Saturday night, with three Seattle bands—Kithkin, Vox Mod, and Kaylee Cole—teamed with three bands from Iceland—Sin Fang, Germigervill, and Borko. "Borko" is a great name for a band.
Here is your recipe for this super-dense, almost chocolatey, very good bread. When we finally get some more volcanic action around here (could be anytime!), we can bake it right.
Rúgbrauð: Geothermally Baked Rye Bread
In Iceland, this bread can literally be baked in the ground, by filling an empty milk carton with dough, wrapping the carton in foil and burying it underground for 24 hours. Here in Seattle, an oven will have to suffice [FOR NOW—Ed.].
1.2kg sugar 800g whole wheat flour 4 kg rye flour 2 tsp salt 100 g dry yeast 3 liters milk (hold onto the cartons)
Mix the ingredients together and knead well.
Half-fill each 1 liter carton, pressing well to avoid air bubbles in the bread. Wrap with tin foil and stand on the bottom of the oven and bake at 200°F for about 12-13 hours. If you want to cook in the ground, it takes 24 hours, and you have to travel to Iceland [ibid].