2011 Festival Theme

Bake Oven


Long before microwaves, convection ovens and the “set it and forget it” convenience of modern kitchens, our Pennsylvania Dutch fore-mothers spent at least one entire day devoted to providing the week’s baked goods for her family.


On almost every Friday of the colonial housewife’s life, her day revolved around the bake oven. Baking day was the day to bake the week’s worth of rye bread, fresh fruit pies, Kuchen, and also dry some of the seasonal fruit for the upcoming long winter months. Bread was mixed and set to rise in large round loaves, often weighing between 5-7 pounds, early in the morning. Kuchen, or yeast-raised pastries, were mixed, pies were assembled in shallow dishes, and fruit sliced onto drying trays.

Soon after the final rising of the bread dough, the baking would commence. The dying coals of the wood fire would be scraped out of the beehive oven, the brick hearth quickly swabbed clean, and the loaves and pies set to bake. After removing the last of the baked goods, the drying trays would be set in the oven to take advantage of the fading heat.



An article about the Bake Oven was published in The Morning Call newspaper on 8/12/11.

To read the complete article, click here.

Enjoy a few photos of Bake Oven at the Antes House Plantation.........




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