All About Iceland's Tradition Of Baking Bread In Hot Springs
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Be it the tradition of consuming Joumou Soup in Haiti on January 1 to mark the new year or truffle hunting in Italy or winemaking in Georgia, there are many unique food traditions in the world that are worth exploring. Thanks to the internet, people are now able to learn about various cultures without actually having to travel around the world. Travel bloggers often share wonderful snippets of their travel journeys online, and that is how recently we came across one such amazing food tradition from Iceland, thanks to a travel blogger, named Kyana Sue Powers, who is currently living in Reykjavik. She shared one interesting fact about cooking in the country that has us amazed.  

According to an Instagram video, shared by @kyanasue, it is a tradition in Iceland to bake bread and boil eggs in natural heat from the hot springs. Thus, there is no need for an oven since natural heat turns the ground itself into a makeshift ‘geothermal bakery'. Sounds unbelievable? Take a look at the video. The people in Iceland actually bake bread and boil eggs over the natural heat of the hot springs near them. This is their natural 'geothermal bakery', and they don't even need an oven there. For the unversed, a hot spring or a geothermal spring is one created by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater onto the earth surface. The groundwater is heated either by shallow bodies of magma or by circulation through faults to hot rock deep in the earth's crust. 

According to the video, new hot springs are discovered in the country almost every day. And in the town of Laugarvatn, it is actually a popular tradition to bake rye bread using ground heat. The tradition, in fact, dates back several centuries. The lake there has natural hot water springs, where the temperature of the water can go up to 100 degrees Celsius. Thus, you can use the naturally boiling water to bake bread and even do other things like boil eggs, cook stews, and even bake cakes. As per the video, eggs simply take about 10 minutes to boil. Meanwhile, baking bread would take about 24 hours. The video clip shared by the blogger has received over 66.7k views and 4.3k likes. 

Baking bread using the heat from the hot springs is actually pretty simple. One simply prepares the dough, and adds it to a big pan that is strong enough and comes with a lid on it. The dough is secured from all sides with the help of plastic film so that it stays intact. Then, the pan is buried in the ground and covered with sand. Thanks to the boiling water underneath it, the bread cooks and is ready to eat within a day.  

This bread can be savoured with butter, jam, honey, sugar, or anything of your choice. You can also top it with freshly boiled eggs or fish or chicken.