Public Bakeovens



Cooking with Fire in Public Parks


Bread and Puppet oven, Vermont, 2001

The Bread and Puppet Theatre company seldom performed anywhere without baking bread to go along with the show. At the company's farm in Vermont, there are two ovens, a smaller one close to the living quarters, and a very big one out in the performance field. Sometimes that oven baked bread for thousands of people.

At the time of our visit, Peter Schumann ground the rye meal in a big hand mill. He set out the dough in the evening, made a big fire and then at dawn the next morning he and some helpers walked across the field with all the baskets, cleaned the ashes out of the oven and swabbed the hearth with a big caretakers' broom. Then all the bread went in, and when it was baked and had cooled down, it was sliced into the same baskets and passed up and down the rows of spectators seated in the field. It fed everybody.

The smaller oven, next to the barn museum and the house

"sourdough rye bread bakery"

Peter Schumann swabbing out the oven

rustic oven plug
The bigger oven out in the field

big oven area for performance days

little house for bread distribution

loaves rising in baskets

ready-baked bread for the afternoon performance

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Content last modified on April 22, 2019, at 06:19 PM EST