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This Icelandic Bakery Buries Its Bread in Hot Springs

Pieces of bread sit on a platter next to butter and a knife.

There is no shortage of food trends coming out of the pandemic. Arguably one of the most popular is breading baking. From banana to sourdough, everyone seemed to take up the hobby. If you were one of them, the method a bakery in Iceland uses to bake its bread might blow your mind.

Bakery and spa Laugarvatn Fontana buries its rye bread in the country’s famous hot springs to get the perfect bake.

The tradition of baking in the hot springs comes from Laugarvatn Fontana owner Sigurður “Siggi” Rafn Hilmarsson’s grandmother. According to Hilmarsson, his grandmother taught him how to make the hot springs-based dish—known as hverabrauð—and while, it’s an everyday, normal part of his life, the guests in his hotel were fascinated when one day, he asked them to join in on digging the bread up.

Í dag skal grafið brauð.Komdu, upplifðu og smakkaðu.Rúgbrauðsferð kl. 11:45 og 14:30.Opið í Fontana frá 11:30 – 21:00 í dag.Gleðilega jólahátíð.

Posted by Laugarvatn Fontana on Monday, December 27, 2021

While the process seems quite intense, the recipe is simple. Hilmarsson revealed to Atlas Obscura writer Tiffany Eastham that the bread is made from rye flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cow’s milk. The thing that makes it unique isn’t the ingredients, it’s the way the temperature of the hot springs and the amount of time it stays in the earth is able to change the texture and flavor. Typically, the dough is left in the pot (which is buried about one foot into the ground) for 24 hours, and with hot springs temperatures of 23 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s able to bake perfectly and gives time for all the flavors to blend.

Við bökum brauð í viðurvist gesta okkar tvisvar á dag, 11:30 og 14:30.Komdu, upplifðu og smakkaðu 😚👌Hægt er að bóka miða í rúgbrauðsferð á www.fontana.is

Posted by Laugarvatn Fontana on Wednesday, July 7, 2021

As for the bread’s flavor, Eastham describes it as a soft, dense dish with a cake-like texture and subtle sweetness. When brought back to the bakery, it was served with butter and smoked trout from the nearby lake. Sounds delicious, right?

If you’re planning on any international travel in 2022 and you’ve become a bread person in the past few years, Laugarvatn Fontana might be the perfect destination for a culinary tour of Europe.

[Via Atlas Obscura]

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