You probably already know that Iceland is famous for its hot springs. But, did you know that you can use the hot temperature around those springs to bake?
According to Eater, that’s exactly what Iceland local Viktor Sveinsson uses the springs for. He puts the ingredients into a metal pot and buries it within the ground at 100 degrees Celsius. After allowing it to sit and cook for about 24 hours, he pulls out the pot with a solid loaf of freshly baked homemade bread. Talk about a low maintenance recipe!
In the video below, you can see into his process more clearly. He demonstrates the procedure of burying the pot, where you can see the hot spring water bubbling up from below. He mounds the sand back over the pot into a dune with a rock on top to mark the spot, then returns after the 24 hour waiting period to dig it back up.
The brown bread comes out hot and soft, as if it were baked in a conventional oven. Sveinsson says the ingredients that go into the bread are as follows: four cups of rye flour, two cups of wheat flour, two cups of sugar, four teaspoons of baking powder, one liter of milk and a pinch of salt. Pretty standard bread-baking recipe, wouldn’t you say?
Judging by the video, it seems the only real difference you’d notice is the lack of a crispy bread crust. But, maybe in this case it really isn’t necessary.
The final loaf looks huge enough to feed a family. The soft texture almost looks more like cake than bread, and who would complain about that? Sveinsson serves it up with a large portion of butter that appears to melt pretty quickly, proving the springs are plenty hot enough for this “natural oven” job.
You’ll notice the lady in the video, Grasso, gets to sample the bread and determine its taste. She describes it as “surprisingly sweet,” (probably has to do with that generous 2 cups of sugar) and “delicious.” Especially for rye bread.
Take a peek at the video below and see how it’s done.