For most Americans, knowledge about volcanos doesn’t extend too far past the occasional middle school science fair projects. But in Iceland, a country that boasts some 130 active and inactive volcanoes, natural hot springs and the surrounding soil can serve as an incredibly rustic oven.
American filmmaker Alison Grasso witnessed the old-fashioned baking process of Iceland rye bread recently, documenting the experience and winning “Best Super Short Film” at the New York Food Film Festival 2016 in the process.
Viktor Sveinsson, Grasso’s Icelandic guide through the process, mixes four cups of rye flour, two cups of wheat flour, two cups of sugar, four teaspoons of baking powder, one liter of milk, and a pinch of salt into a large iron pot. From there, Sveinsson wraps the pot in plastic and buries the dough in the hot sand for a full 24 hours before digging it up again.
The hot springs at Laugarvatn heat the sand up to about 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and also serve as a popular tourist attraction at a nearby spa.
While bread and butter isn’t alway worthy of the food porn treatment, Grasso’s beautifully shot short makes us think Icelandic rye bread may be popping up on trendy, artisanal menus in no time.