From the beginning Pavel had difficulties with baking: mice attacked grain, it was difficult to install the millstones, there were several failures in baking leaven dough.

Generally, at living-history festivals baking bread is not popular. It’s rather painstaking job. Firstly, one needs to build a special oven. Secondly, milestones are quite heavy and bulky things. Thirdly, preparation of yeast dough, warming oven and baking process itself requires a lot of time. Fourth, pleasure of the result sometimes is less then grief due to missed battles, workshops and meeting with friends. So, bakers among the reenactors use some «cheatings»: flour from a store, not very authentic ovens. But Pavel is in the different situation and he can’t apply any «cheatings».

Baking bread at the festival «Gorodetskoye Gulbishe»

So, we’ll tell you about Pavel’s experiments with baking.

In the start of the project in Pavel’s granary there were: 200 kg of wheat, 400 kg of oats, 80 kg of rye, 150 kg of barley.

The granary, unfortunately, is wet. It’s very bad. Because of the humidity the grain starts to grow moldy or sprout. It is dangerous — rose mould (fusarium) is very harmful for health. Fortunately, we didn’t find it, only blue mould, it may be aspergilli. Pavel throws away musty grain and it it is consumed by his domestic animals. Besides, there are mice in the barn.

We’ve told Pavel that he should heat the grain in an iron cauldron before thrashing. Some mould dies if the temperature is more than 50 C.

Wet ceiling of the barn

Stocks of grain


Millstones. Pavel has two couples of millstones: small and big. Pavel uses the big ones. He put millstone into a barrel. It’s turned out to be very handy to take thrashing yield and flour from it, to close with a fabric from dust, soot and mice. I’ve seen similar designs, although in troughs. Millstones in a barrel — it’s something original and new.
For several threshings Pavel puts grain in a birch bark container and sorts it out. He throws away weed seeds, damaged grains. Pavel makes the flour from the mixture of wheat, barley and rye. He tried to grind oat, but because of hard films cakes turned almost inedible and scratching throat. To make flour fine enough Pavel needs to mill grain for about seven times.

Sorted grain inside Pavel’s house.

Millstones in the barrel.

Flour, dough and leaven. Pavel failed to make a bolter from a piece of fabric. So, his flour is «heavy», coarse. Hop leaven can’t lift such dough. So Pavel decided to produce unleaven dough. His recipe: flour, salt, water, a little bit of honey. Pavel makes cakes with a diameter of 10-12 cm and a thickness of 1-1.5 cm. We said him to add some fat or oil (he has some linseed oil). The dough will be shorter and cakes wouldn’t become stale so fast.


Stove. There are two stoves at the farm. One, which is for baking bread, is outdoors. The other, for cooking and heating, is indoors. The stove outdoors is similar to the findings of Rurik settlement. Unfortunately, rains in August made it impossible to dry this stove, so Pavel couldn’t use it for some time. Then it turned out that it is too difficult for a hermit to make bread here, because it takes a lot of wood and you can’t interrupt the process of baking.

So, Pavel decided to make small cakes indoors in live coals. Instead of a frying pan he uses pieces of broken crockery. Well, probably for one person it is the best model of baking.

Stove outdoors.

Stove indoors.