The Bletonnay bread oven


This communal bread oven had different uses in the past.

In our community the oven wasn´t in community, each village had at least one, even every farm like this one. This building's inside cannot be seen from outside. It is half an oven (the back part) and half a storage room for oven tools (shovels, scraper, wooden storage, embers boxes). This oven probably used to work once a week or once every two weeks. There were only one baking made, but the heat of it where used to cook a good gratin or pies after the bread, to not loose the heat.

Here is the way this oven was working :
· First, a wood fire is light inside the oven, as it has no chimney the smoke and gas get out through the opening of the oven so the whole place is filled with smoke.
· The oven is heated for several hours, with lots of embers.
· Then the embers are removed using a kind of scraper.
· After the oven is cleaned with the "pana" (An old jacket or a large piece of cloth soaked with water) in a circular motion to push the ashes at the edges of the oven leaving it clean (part where the bread is put to bake)
· The breads are baked for 45 min or 1 hour, depending on the size of the piece of dough. Meanwhile the smell spreads out, making evebody getting hungry.


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