Sourdough bread baked in traditional courtyard ovens is an important element of village culture. The starter dough is mixed with flour and water and left overnight and is then kneaded and left to rise for approximately four hours in a traditional poplar wood tray. In winter, boiled potato is often added to the dough to extend the keeping quality of the bread. The oven is prepared by burning wood until the required temperature is reached and the coals raked to the side.
The dough is placed directly on the floor of the hot oven using long handled wooden shovels. After two hours the bread is taken out of the oven, and while still hot is beaten with a wooden stick and scraped with a knife to remove the black crust, revealing a golden brown loaf of bread underneath. Now, the oven is used for baking cakes such as cozonac, with walnut paste, or for slowly cooked meat casseroles. Tourist interest in this unique bread is helping to keep this traditional process alive.
“A visit to see this bread being made is truly memorable and quite unique to this area of Transylvania”