Medieval James Himself

Medieval James Himself
Guide at Ozark Medieval Fortress

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Can You Make Medieval Bread and Loaf?

Many people have asked, “What should I be sure to not overlook during my visit at the Ozark Medieval Fortress?” It says a lot about the impressive look of the Castle under construction even in its first season that it is easy to miss something as big as a pickup truck.  It is the Medieval French Oven.  april29 (28)

I guess what makes the oven easy to simply walk past with barely a glance is that it is located right outside the castle gatehouse, but that makes it authentic.  The lord in 1226 owned the oven and ladies served their vassalage with pride at the Community Oven.  Burn the bread, however, and a woman would be feeding the chickens instead.

What I think is interesting about the oven is that in the Middle Ages the French developed the oven to use two fires. One fire is below and outside, which is common in the rest of the world and can even be found in Colonial America where the hearth simply had an oven space in the stone to the side of the fire.  The French, however, also made a fire inside the baking chamber.  Before actually baking they pushed the coals to the side.  This gave them more even heat which, coupled with the massive stone of the oven, made for that wonderful crusty bread now famous throughout the world. Like everything in the Middle Ages it took skill, time and a lot of work to bake.

Maybe my opinion that the oven is our hidden treasure is because I love French bread so much. In any event, when you visit the Ozark Medieval Fortress, take your time and notice even the “little” things.

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