The famous Icelandic Strokkur Geyser erupting hot water and steam against sun and blue summer sky. Haukadalur, Iceland, Europe
Iceland's 'Hot Spring Bread' Bakes Underground For 24 Hours
By Cristine Struble
The rugged terrain and slightly isolated nature of Iceland have forced residents to become resourceful, especially when it comes to cooking. One dish that highlights this creativity is rúgbrauð, an Icelandic hot spring bread that is baked underground for a full 24 hours before being eaten.
Rúgbrauð is a sourdough style bread with some sugar that’s “baked” low and slow using the heat from natural hot springs, which can take up to 24 hours. By utilizing the geothermal energy from the hot springs, bakers are able to "bury" the bread and allow it to slowly rise and develop its unique flavor.
This cooking method produces a loaf of bread that’s dense, sometimes sweet, and robust, slightly more cake-like than traditional sandwich bread. This makes it a great pairing for more pungent foods like fermented fish, or it can be simply topped with compound butter and enjoyed on its own with eggs for breakfast.