Hverabrauð, hot-spring-bread, what a funny name for something ridiculously delicious.
Icelanders have been using their natural resources to the fullest for decades. The country is crossed by an endless underground network of hot springs producing geothermal energy that can even be used for gastronomy.
Icelandic bakers put together rye flour, plain flour, milk, golden syrup (for the caramel taste), baking soda and a tiny bit of salt to obtain a mixture they will then place in a vessel. The most interesting part happens when they go about their nearest geothermal source to dig a hole in the black sand and place their fresh dough in there.
The gentle hot springs, at a temperature of around 38 degrees, slowly cook the bread, ready nearly 24 hours later. And 24 is the magic time, too less will make it too raw and if you leave it for 25 hours, it might start getting smaller. Whenever the pot is taken out of the hole, a dense yet chewy bread will come out of this naturally heated ground. Some people even compare it to a cake because of its sweet touch.
Locals generally enjoy it with butter, smoked trout, lamb or even boiled eggs. A few slices of hverabrauð will for sure give you enough energy to resist the Icelandic weather or climb a close by mountain.
If you would like to witness this experience or try a real hverabrauð, you can head to Laugarvatn, about an hour away from the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik. The facilities of Laugarvatn Fontana have a geothermal bakery where they uncover this old tradition right in front of your eyes.