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Name: Carmen Rouhiainen
Region: Schwabian Alb
Category: bread and baking culture
I come from a village on the Swabian Alb, where baking in the wood stoves of the village baking house is regularly practiced. I grew up with this living tradition. For me it was only natural to learn the techniques from firing and controlling the oven, to rolling out “Blatz”, our Swabian pizza, and charging the oven with bread. The baking house is a place where the people of the village come together to get in touch with each other and bake together. Often one is lucky and is invited to a piece of Blatz. Once a year, on the 1st weekend of July, we celebrate our village festival around the baking house.
I would like to show and teach this tradition of baking in the baking house to others, just as it was shown and taught to me by my mother, in order to preserve the traditional craft of baking bread in stone ovens with wood. It is an important part of our actively lived village community. Everybody who is interested can learn these techniques and participate. It is a connecting and elementary work, in which a lot of work is done with the hands, which can be physically strenuous, but also just as much fun and pleasure to experience. Especially when you bite into freshly baked and still steaming “Blatz” or bread and think that there is actually nothing that could be tastier at this moment.