Process for making a common bread

During the eighteenth century in New Spain different types of bread, varying in terms of its preparation, composition and weight.

By Archivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Traditionally the distribution of bread was divided between the flowered bread made from the whitest and finest flour, the so-called flour flower, being only accessible to viceroys, bishops and other people with high incomes and, on the other hand, bread current was the so-called pambazo, this one was shaped like a cake and was made with brown flour and very ground bran. Factors for which there were specific rules that prohibited the use of two different flours in the same bread making.

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

In the year 1792, through the Court of the Faithful Execution, the viceregal authorities would experience the making of a medium-quality bread, which would be accessible to the entire population through shops and grocery stores, and the upper classes would have no objection in acquire it.

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The process for the manufacture of the so-called common bread occurred through the experimentation of mixing fine and ordinary wheat. This procedure began with the cleaning of the wheat that was poured into a stretch to eliminate all traces of dirt and be transported to the washing machine.

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Molino de Monte o de repaso (1767) by Don Francisco PortocarreroArchivo General de la Nación - México

Diagram of the central piece where a mill is fixed indicating its circumference of the mill of 9 feet in diameter, composed of stakes and camones; surrounded by the floor where the horse has to pull the stone for its operation.

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Once clean, it was soaked to take moisture and left to rest overnight, then spread it out for half an hour on large tables that would make it take on a softer consistency, so it would be crustled and transported to the bakery where the flour would be processed.

Piezas del Molino de Monte (1767) by Don Francisco PortocarreroArchivo General de la Nación - México

Diagram of the three pieces that make up a mill, called the flail, the birola and the pawn, which are responsible for holding the grinding stone to the center of the mill.

Piedra de molino para triturar (1769) by AnonymusArchivo General de la Nación - México

The millstone for grinding was a cylindrical piece with wooden teeth and was used as a lathe and grinding part.

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The bakers chosen for the production of the flour would begin the preparation by pouring the bags of wheat on an oriental stone lathe, to begin to be sifted by two indians until the different parts of the milling were separated.

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

A second separation machine, known as saxor, was in charge of purifying the flour discarded by the lathe, in order to separate the hardest parts of the wheat, in order to stir the flour with the head, thicker flour, separating only the fat zemita and the bran, would remain a flour similar to the so-called "flower of all flour".

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

To the "flower of all flour" would be added the yeast, and two pounds of water, which would finish the mixture. Then it was left to rest in a barrel so that when it was ready, it was kneaded by several operators inside a trough. In this process, seven and a half pounds of salt and 19 more pounds of water would be poured, in the end, the dough was passed to a table to be roasted and cut into cakes, while the oven was prepared.

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

18 cakes weighing 30 ounces raw were made with this mixture, which would be spread out on a board so that the dough hardened while the oven was ready. Finally, after being baked, the cakes would come out with the stipulated weight of 26 and a half ounces, thus obtaining the so-called common bread that was sent to the court.

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

The good results of this experimentation led to the authorization of the elaboration of this bread to be sold in stores and grocery stores, and with this, bread would become a higher quality food at a more accessible price for the novo-Hispanic society. This gave way over the years to further experimentation that resulted in various breads, such as the bolillo, the cemita, the bollo, the pambazo, the pan de dulce and the traditional pan de muerto (bread of the dead). Transl

Proceso para la elaboración de un pan común (1792) by Tribunal de la Fiel EjecutoriaArchivo General de la Nación - México

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