[Sca-cooks] Bread baking in December

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Thu Dec 22 12:03:47 PST 2011

From when does this date?  I can better speculate on trencher use if I know when 
this was written.

Wheat bread goes stale in about four days and it isn't much use (other than 
breadcrumbs)after that.  Rye bread holds moisture better and lasts a long time 
uncut.  I would say they are talking about rye breads, which makes some sense if 
talking about bread for the servants.

Ale was produced year round and drunk fresh, so I doubt that leaven was an 

Bakeries are heated areas.  I can't see the exterior temperature being much of 
an issue, especially as I have done field baking at minus 25 F.

I can't say I've seen any of this information elsewhere.


.I've been reading about the month of December in Coler's Calendarium
Oeconomicum & perpetuum... and ran across this interesting tidbit about
baking in the month of December.  I'm curious if this might be localized
advice or was this an actual practice?  I'm wondering if anyone knows more
about this, and can help me think about why they might bake 5 to 6 months
worth of bread?

In particular:
Is this in sync with beer brewing so that leaven was available in quantity?
Would it become to cold to brew/raise bread during the upcoming months?
Would the dry bread serve better for trenchers, especially since Coler
mentions servants?

Here's my translation -

Von Backen.
In dem Monat pflegen etlich vleissige hauswirt viel Brods zu backen /
etliche hitzen oder gebecke nach einander.  Denn dz brot so diese zeit
gebacken wrd/ weret bis um Pfingsten hinaus/ vnnd is im hause sehr
nützlich / denn es treuget wol aus / vnd settiget sehr.  Mancher becker
diesen Monat so viel / das er Brods in seinem hause biss auff Pfingsten
genug hat.  Wer viel gesindes hat / den ist dis ein nützliche Regel.

On Baking
During the month [December] some diligent heads of house attend to baking
much bread / heated together or baked one after another.  Because the
bread is so baked at this time / it would be available up until Pentecost
/ and is for the household very useful / when it is well dried out / and
very satisfying.  Many baker in this month so many [make] / that they have
bread in their house enough until Pentecost.  Where there are many
servants / then this is a useful policy.

Thank you for your consideration,


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