If You Don't Want to Hand Carve a Bread Bowl for Your Bride

Before the modern era of baking and the technological advancements that came with it, the dough bowl was a necessary part of the bread-making process. They were hand-carved and helped with almost every part of the dough-making process.  Used to mix and throw the dough, and also to let it rise before baking, the wood bowl helped to trap the heat of the yeast. At first, resembling more of a trench shape, these bowls were sometimes called ‘trenchers’, which also referred to days-old cuts of bread that acted as plates. It is a common belief that these stale loaves were then donated to the poor. Over time, the bowls rounded out, until they resembled the ovular shape that they are today.

Dough bowls were often a treasured family heirloom, passed from mother to eldest daughter as the generations of women grew older. Each woman that owned the bowl and used it would add her mark to it, personalizing it as hers.  Husbands would also often hand-carve a new bowl as a wedding gift for his new bride, as a hope that she was skilled at baking.  

Holding both a personal and practical meaning to the families that used them, these dough bowls were a staple in a less industrial time and can be used to bring a little bit of that simpler time back into the home now, making a unique centerpiece or decoration. We have a variety of options at Boxwood, including some that are finished with a vibrant food-safe wax.

leah donahue