Bread Baking in a Peeche at Vegreville Pysanka Festival
Some of the traditions at the Vegreville Pysanka Festival continued by virtual means and curbside pick-up during the 47th annual event this past weekend.
One of these was the outdoor bread baking which was done in a peeche on July 4. In other years in the Pioneer Village, people could observe how this bread was cooked through demonstrations on how the pioneers used to bake their bread.
However, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and social distancing practices that need to be followed, the bread-making demonstration was online and people ordered the bread ahead of time where they received the bread by curbside pick-up at the Vegreville Cultural Association Centre on July 4.
Pearl Kuhn, Director for Bread Baking, said she made the bread with many volunteers. This bread tastes different than the bread we make in a regular oven today because they use the wood from apple trees, willows, and cedarwood which has different flavours.
“For the bread, we use two clay and one brick oven. We heat the oven with the wood and then it bakes from the heat that has gone into the oven. The heat goes into the mud and clay and the brick and that heat is what bakes the bread,” Pearl explained. “You can bake anything in a peeche oven; not only bread. The main thing is to get your temperature right which should be 350 F.”
Altogether, 70 loaves of bread were sold to appreciative recipients.