[Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Wed Jan 16 09:21:51 PST 2008

In general, I would agree with you, but given a 1000+ year span, word usage 
changes.  In the 14th Century these would likely be the hand raised mold of 
dough, by the late 16th Century, the dish to hold the pie and possibly crust 
is included.  Modernly, these usages are considered archaic and obsolete.


I always assumed these types of pies were made without pans, using a thick 
stand-alone crust (sometimes made with rye flour) that was not intended to 
be eaten.  That way the cook could make any shape he wanted, such as a fish 
or a lobster.  Robert May, although post period (1685), has a number of pie 
designs throughout his cookbook that would have to be made free-hand.

Nancy Kiel
nancy_kiel at hotmail.com
Never tease a weasel!
This is very good advice.
For the weasel will not like it
And teasing isn't nice.

> From: t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
> To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 14:38:47 -0600
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?
> The term coffyn has it's origins in a Greek word meaning "basket" was
> transferred into Latin then came into English via Old French, where it 
> meant
> "little basket," "case," etc.  Thus the shape may be immaterial to the
> definition as the coffin was created to meet the needs of the contents. 
> The
> idea in the SCA that the coffyn should be rectangular may be an artifact 
> of
> the modern usage of the word, a box to hold a body.  This usage first 
> occurs
> in English around 1525 (although the same usage in French dates from 
> around
> 1330).
> In the sense that coffyn is used on this list, it is: (1) a shaped mold of
> dough to hold a pie, (2) a pie crust, and (3) a dish to hold a pie.
> I haven't seen much about the size and shape of hand raised coffyns, but 
> for
> pies shaped in a pan I suspect that many of the baking dishes were
> terracotta or ceramic and that circular baking dishes are easier to 
> produce
> than square or rectangular ones.
> Bear
> But, Gunthar, weren't Medieval coffyns round?  I sort of got that 
> impression
> from most of the existing illustrations, but I may be wrong <sigh>.  The
> Charlotte Mold might be a better choice.  But, why not some of the round
> spring molds?  They are fairly tall (at least 4" tall), and would probably
> release fairly easily.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Meisterin Katarina Helene von Schönborn, OL
> Because of the really cool bread baking pan that was linked
> (which I will definately be purchasing) I've been browsing
> the Williams-Sonoma catalogue. I saw this and, although
> meant to be a Pate' en Croute pan I was thinking this might
> be good for making coffyns. I'd love to make period coffyns
> but can't find a pan with the correct sides. I know some people
> have built up coffyn pans with paper but I'd like a full metal
> mold someday. This might fit the bill for some types.
> http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/sku7708/index.cfm?pkey=cBKWSPTI
> Gunthar
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