Around the World in 80 Plates: Iceland

Captain Create is digging up a new recipe on a very far north island: Iceland!

It is a place of beautiful mountains, lots of glaciers, snow, and steam! Their capital city, Reykjavik, is powered entirely with geothermal energy from under the island. Because the island is far north, near the arctic circle, it is possible to see the Northern Lights when the conditions are right.

The people that live in Iceland stay warm with fuzzy wool sweaters, fluffy warm socks, and geothermal energy. There is a volcano wayyy down deep under Iceland that provides the extra heat it takes to create hot springs, the same way Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has hot springs. In Iceland, they trap some of that steam and use it to turn turbines to make electricity. They make enough electricity this way to power the entire country! They can also use this hot water rising up to heat pools to swim in, or even to bake bread! They mix up bread dough, wrap the pan up tightly and bury it over night in the hot sand near a hot spring!

The result is dense, chewy, nutty, and just a little bit sweet. After a few bites, you might feel like climbing tall mountains and hiking across icy rivers to see the glaciers with all that extra power from the volcano that *probably* worked its way into the bread while it baked.

Hverabrauð means, literally, “hot spring bread”, and you can still make your own at home, even if you don’t have a volcano-powered hot spring nearby. The oven version is called rúgbrauð which, simply translated, is “rye bread”. Let’s bake some bread! The full-time bakers over at King Arthur Flour have very helpfully translated a version from Icelandic for us to make.

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