The Québécois outdoor bread baking oven at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge New York was built in 2008 as part of the 400 year anniversary of Quebec City. This celebration included Washington County since it lay along the routes of much movement between Montreal and Albany, through Lake Champlain, the Hudson, and other waterways. Additionally, in the 1680's, a group of French fur traders was based near here, on the Hudson River, close to the Battenkill and Fish Creek outlets.
The bread oven was built from clay in the traditional Québécois style, and is covered with a rough-sawn wooden roof. Lighting the oven typically occurs about four hours before baking time and consumes a few armfuls of wood during that time. Baking can begin once the oven shell and floor, which make up a considerable thermal mass, are up to temperature. The oven can hold about 20 loaves of bread at a time. The result is delicious hot bread of a quality difficult to achieve in a home oven.
Community Bread Baking Events
The oven is available to all members of the community for bread and pizza baking. We have been baking 1-4 times per month in groups ranging from three to about ten bakers.
Come join us and try out a new way to bake your own bread dough, or sample breads and pizza made by other bakers. You can also bring foods to barbecue on the coals once they are shoveled out of the oven. An aging but functional grill is available for this purpose.
If you are interested, please sign up on our email list, which is used to arrange the times of the bakes. There is no regular schedule because weather and the availability of an appropriately trained "oven master" (aka "hobo of the bread oven") controls when baking can occur.
The bread oven is located behind Hubbard Hall in Cambridge New York, to the right of the Lovejoy building, near the railroad tracks.
Please come join us!
The Québécois Community Oven -- A blog post about the bread oven bake for the locavore challenge, Sept 27, 2011.
Bakers’ Square -- An article in Metroland, from Oct 20, 2011Community Oven -- Another blog post with some nice photos, from Oct 23, 2011.
Like a Moth to the Flame -- Yet another blog post with some stunning photos of the oven, from Nov 21, 2011.
The Building of the Oven
|The construction of the bread oven was made possible by many volunteer workers, by Hubbard Hall, and by funding from the Government of Québec, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Center for Folklife, History and Cultural Programs at the Crandall Public Library (NY), and the New York State Council for the Arts.|