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Once upon a time in Iceland

Geysir Bread

Recipe - told by Philip Dainton

Located in the geothermal area of Haukadalur Valley, Geysir is a famous hot spring which lends its name to geysers all around the world. This one is now dormant after some changes due to previous earthquakes.

The Valley of hot springs and geysers is a sight to behold. Strokkur (Icelandic for churn), being the most famous in the area, erupts jets of boiling hot water up to 40 metres high. You needn't wait long to see the majestic sight, as the eruptions take place every five-ten minutes. It is 1000 years old and can reach temperatures of 100 degrees. This is one of the places in the Golden Circle, a popular tourist route in South Iceland.

Famous Geysir Bread might not be made right here but basically the recipe applies. Bread is made of rye placed in a simple aluminium pot. This pot is then buried about two feet underground for 24 hours. The best temperature for baking is about 100° C or 212° F. It is a long wait but this syrup tasting crust is truly worth it.



Heat 1 liter milk or skimmed milked and two deciliters of golden syrup in a casserole at a low temperature. Heat until the milk is comfortably hot for drinking—do not let it boil.


Approximately 20 grams of yeast are dissolved in 1 deciliter of water; otherwise it’s just poured into the casserole. Add two teaspoons salt, stir lightly and let the mixture rest for a few minutes.


Put one kilo rye flour, 400 grams of whole grain flour and 250 grams all-purpose flour into a bowl and mix them together. Then, little by little, pour the milk mixture into the bowl and stir until the dough has become too thick for stirring.


Sprinkle an additional 250 grams of flour onto a counter and then knead the dough until it is a firm and shiny ball. Divide into three bread-shaped rolls and put on a baking tray, or divide it into an appropriate number of buttered bread pans.


Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for one hour. Then bake for one to two hours at medium heat.

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