Tools for Leafbread-Making Increase in Popularity Skip to content

Tools for Leafbread-Making Increase in Popularity

“Things have been crazy,” said Aegir Björnsson, who has made laufabraudsjárn, special knives for carving laufabraud (“leafbread”), the unique Icelandic Christmas bread, for 20 years in his garage as a source of extra income.

Laufabraudsjárn is used for carving triangular patterns into the leafbread cake. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Björnsson told Fréttabladid that interest in leafbread-making is clearly increasing every year. “I suppose I will make around 400 knives this year.”

The knives are mostly sold in November and December but with the opening of the Christmas Garden in Eyjafjördur and, more recently, the Leafbread Center on Strandgata 43 in Akureyri there is now a year-round demand.

Björnsson doesn’t only make conventional laufabraudsjárn but also a newer, finer version. “A few years ago a woman from north Iceland asked me to make a knife which made patterns more similar to hand-carved patterns. The knives were a success and demand for them has increased.”

Making and carving leafbread is originally a north Icelandic tradition and until the invention of the special carving knife in the mid-20th century, all patterns were made with a simple pocketknife.

Click here to watch an audio slideshow on how to make laufabraud.

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