Kleina (plural kleinur) is an Icelandic fried pastry that has been popular domestically for at least two centuries. It is made from flattened dough cut into small trapezoids with a special cutting wheel called a kleinujárn. (A pizza cutter can also be used.) A slit is cut in the middle and then one end pulled through the slit to form a “knot.” The kleina is then deep-fried in oil (traditionally tallow).
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk or buttermilk
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. nutmeg
enough flour to roll (approx. 4 cups)
Beat eggs slightly and add sugar and beat some more. Gradually add the sour cream mixed with soda and milk alternately with the dry ingredients. This will take about 4 1/2 cups of flour. Mix it and pour out onto the floured board and divide into three portions and roll each out to approx. 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1-inch wide strips and then into about 2 1/2 inch long pieces. Put a slit in the centre of each and fold one end through the slit. Fry in deep fat Crisco in an electric deep fryer at about 375 degrees. Keep turning them till they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. After they have drained on paper towel, sprinkle with powdered sugar when ready to serve.
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