A baker's tools

From scrapers to bannetons (proofing baskets) , cleaning brushes to spreaders …Learn all about the forgotten tools of the trade used by bakers in 20th-century France.

Bannetons d'osier remplis de pain (1938)Mucem

Bannetons (proofing basket) )

Les moules à pain, de différentes formes, sont plutôt utilisés par les boulangers professionnels mais on peut les trouver dans des boulangeries collectives rurales.

Raclette à pétrin (1950)Mucem

Racloir or raclette

Le racloir (ou la raclette) est le principal outil du boulanger. Il s’agit d’une sorte de spatule métallique parfois munie d’un court manche qui sert à rassembler la pâte à pain lorsqu’elle a tendance à se coller aux parois en bois du pétrin.                         

Panier - banneton (1985)Mucem

Les moules sont généralement constitués d’une structure en vannerie revêtue d’un tissu qui permet au pain de gonfler tranquillement et de ne pas coller. 

Banneton (1925)Mucem

This kind of basket, of which the rectangular banneton is the most well-known, is used to help bread dough rise but isn't used for baking.

Ecouvillon (1950)Mucem

L'écouvillon

C’est un vieux linge attaché à un long bâton, avec lequel on nettoie le four à pain chauffé au bois, juste avant d’y enfourner le pain.

Rouable (1925)Mucem

Rouable (spreader)

When the oven was done heating up, the ash was collected and removed from the oven using a rouable (spreader), a kind of hooked pole or rake without teeth.

Coche de boulangerMucem

The rural baker's coche (tally stick)

Rural bakers long ago used tally sticks, where they made notches in the wood to take note of how much their customers owed

La Coche de boulanger (1938)Mucem

In many cases, customers would give a certain amount of flour over a set amount of time on the condition that the baker makes the customer's bread. In exchange, the baker would take a portion of the flour for himself.

Coche de boulanger (1961)Mucem

The tally stick was a contract binding the customer and the baker. Each side had one part, which allowed them to count the number of loaves made. The tally stick is a relic of the bartering era: the customer no longer makes his own bread, but he doesn't yet buy it using cash.

Pelle à painMucem

The pelle à pain (bread peel)

Of all the French baker's tools, the pelle à pain (bread peel) is the most iconic.

Homme enfournant le pain avec une pelle (1943)Mucem

Putting bread rolls in the oven

It takes two to introduce the bread into the oven: one person holds the peel that has been sprinkled with flour to stop the dough from sticking, and the other puts the loaf of dough on the peel. The dough is cut cleanly with a blade (often a razorblade) so the bread will rise properly while it's baked.

Credits: Story

Commissariat : Edouard de Laubrie 

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