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When the heat was sufficient the embers were raked out and the pieces of dough placed in the hollows and covered over.

This was a beehive- or barrel-shaped container of baked clay, usually divided into two by a central horizontal partition.

The lower section formed the fire-box in which were burned pieces of dried wood, foten taken from the Nile, or even dried animal dung.

51-52) "The brewing of beer may well have occurred soon after the production of cereal crops, and no doubt for a long time beer was home-produced and in the hands of housewives responsible for preparing the gruel or bread..first production of beer may be reasonably considered as an accidental discovery resulting for the malting of grain for other purposes." ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins: Maryland] 1998 (p.

166) On the Web Recommended reading: English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David Six Thousand Years of Bread, H. Jacob The Story of Bread, Ronald Sheppard and Edward Newton Ancient ovens & baking "The most important part of the baker's equipment is, and always has been, his oven.

In Ancient Rome bread ovens in the public bakeries were originally hewn from solid rock.

These ovens were heated by the familiar method of burning wood in the baking chamber, raking out the ashes and putting in the dough to bake.

Instead of placing the dough pieces for baking on the bottom or sole of the baking chamber, the Jews put the pieces on the sides.

Being damp and sticky they remained in place intil they had dried out, when they fell to the bottom of the oven.

But there is an alternative and even more likely theory-that on some occasion ale instead of water was used to mix the dough.

The rise would be more spectacular than from a few errant spores and the effect would be easy to explain and equally easy to reproduce." ---Food in History, Tannahill (p.

For six thousand years and more it is the oven, however crude or complex, which has transformed the sticky wet dough into bread.