New baking methods

In Germany, in addition to a baker, most villages had a communal Backofen, where women would bring their breads to be baked. In Wisconsin, early immigrants were on their own and had to learn to bake bread individually in Dutch Ovens. The challenges they faced were expressed in one of the most popular cookbooks for German-Americans, the Praktisches Koch-Buch für die Deutschen in Amerika:Clausen's Bread Shelves

"Old settlers remember the days when in many farmsteads there was no cast-iron oven. Bread had to be baked in cast-iron pots, which had cast-iron lids. Such a pot (Dutch Oven) had to be placed in an open fireplace onto glowing coal. Even the lid had to be covered with red-hot coal. Baking required a lot of care. Women suffered greatly from the embers of the open fire...."
[Translated from Praktisches Koch-Buch für die Deutschen in Amerika, Milwaukee 1897]


At the turn of the twentieth century mass-manufactured stove-oven combinations were available. To this day, there are bakers in Wisconsin, who bake bread according to old German tradtions.

Copyright @ 2003 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin
Last Updated: April 29, 2003