Most of us got really into baking bread in lockdown, but probably not quite this into it.
As a viral video shows, Icelandic people have a unique method of baking bread — by putting it in the ground.
The clip, shared by food company Icelandic Provisions (@icelandicprovisions), shows people in the Icelandic town of Laugarvatn using geothermal heat from the soil to bake a loaf of bread. The Reel has exploded on Instagram, gathering over 8.2 million views.
“New hot springs are discovered around this lake shore every week,” a voiceover explains in the video. “They produce water that’s 100 degrees Celsius.”
One hundred degrees Celcius is 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which, with time, is plenty hot enough to bake bread.
The video shows a person digging a hole into the dark sand surrounding the lake shore. They then place the dough in a pot and wrap it in plastic to protect it from the dirt and water before putting it into the ground so the heat from the hot springs can start baking the bread.
Using this geothermal warmth, it takes about 24 hours to bake bread but just 10 minutes to hardboil an egg. Locals will cook cakes and stews using this method — which is at least 100 years old — each and every day.
Using natural sources of heat to bake saves the need to generate energy or use dirty fuel sources to cook food. Plus, it’s an excellent way to live off the land and stay in tune with nature.
“The most popular way to eat [rye bread] in Iceland is with tons of butter, fresh Arctic char from the lake, and an egg,” concludes the voiceover.
People in the comments were wowed by the traditional practice, with one Instagram user joking: “God gave this for the cold climate.”
Another was already thinking of other foodstuffs you could cook using the geothermal method, writing: “I would love to try it with salmon.”