Post 8. Bread Oven

The oven was used by the villagers to bake rye bread three times a year, in June, September and December. Each person obtained a quantity of bread corresponding to the amount of flour they brought.

   Map of Chandolin

 

The word banal as in four banal, indicated a common good, available to everyone. Sharing the oven enabled the inhabitants to save wood, but also allowed them to maintain a constant heat in the oven.

In Chandolin, the preparation was done directly in the room of the oven, contrary to villages that had a “ bread room ” nearby. Grain measurements were performed using the fichelin. The bread was marked with a distinctive sign, designating the village or a family, or a star in the middle for the pastures. On cressins, small rolls, a kind of lacework pattern was drawn. Godfathers had the habit of giving these to their godsons.

The oven was heated with dry elongated and intertwined fir logs, The oven had to heat four to six hours before the first set of bread could be baked. The second batch could start eight hours later. At that point, it was enough to pre-heat the oven for half an hour. To check if the oven heat was sufficient, it sufficed to note if the stones of the vault had become white.

The bread was baked for about 1 hour 30 minutes, then it was placed on racks.

If a pregnant woman passed the oven, she was entitled to a piece of warm bread to combat cravings.

This bread made from rye, but also from corn and potatoes, had the advantage of keeping a long time, even several months. When the bread was too hard, it was cut with an axe, and then soaked in milk or wine before being eaten.

 

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A few metres to the right of the oven is the old chapel that now houses the Espace Ella Maillart. If the Espace is closed, please contact the Tourist Office to get the key.