Lines 367-408 from “The Treatise (Le Tretiz)” by Walter of Bibbesworth

Now to oven-bake your bread the French way:

When your wheat is well threshed, then winnowed and ground
But to speak more correctly before respectable people
There is blow, winnow and wind and their meanings must be kept in mind:
The scullion blows the fire, the wind winnows the bush,
But hunters wind their horns when in pursuit of their prey
What was grain in the morning becomes meal by grinding,
And from meal comes flour through the miller’s bolting-cloth
Because, using the bolting-cloth, flour is separated from the bran that was in it;
Give the bran to your horses. Mix warm water with the flour
And knead your dough, clean the trough with a dough-rib –
But rake and rib serve different purposes:
The baker holds an oven-rake, but the rib cleans the trough
Because when the dough sticks to the trough the dough-rib removes it;
As long as there’s hay in the meadow the rake will be used.
Heat up the oven with ferns if there’s no straw
(But there’s litter and litter, different, so bookmen say:
The mower in the meadow mows litter ; a man rides in a litter for comfort.
But [the first] litter in pure French is properly called paille ‘straw’.
Chaff and straw are so called when separated from the grain)
If there’s no straw, take pea-straw instead;
And when the oven is well warmed, put the dough into it on a shovel.

From: Walter of Bibbesworth and Dalby, Andrew (transl.), The Treatise (Le Tretiz) of Walter of Bibbesworth, 2012, Prospect Books: Devon, pp. 75-77.

Date: c1260 (original in Anglo-Norman); 2012 (translation in English)

By: Walter of Bibbesworth (1235-1270)

Translated by: Andrew Dalby (1947- )


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