Posted on Thu June 9, 2022.

Step into our time machine and savour some freshly baked bread from our recently refurbished, antique coal-burning iron oven.

Bread has always been a food staple for mankind, with bread baking having evolved along with the rise of technology over the years.

The first practical coal oven is said to have been invented by Jordan Mott in 1833. This oven had ventilation to burn the coal efficiently, was cylindrical in shape and made of heavy cast iron, with a hole on the top which was then enclosed by an iron ring.

Bread-making was eventually industrialised at the start of the 20th century (Wikipedia, no date) and, safe to say, is now found in some shape or form in most households around the world.

Did you know? Our little village has our very own age-old coal oven, which was originally operated in the busy kitchen of the Matjiesfontein Station in the early 1900s, servicing a number or trains stopping at the station for supplies. By the 1990s it was hardly ever used until it became a museum piece of sorts.

Keeping with the history of our charming old-world town, we decided to fire up the old beauty once again. It was restored, refurbished and refitted in the coffee shop to bring you freshly baked bread, just as the residents and visitors of yesteryear would have enjoyed.

Image: Head Baker, Zelna

Our mini old-school bakery comes to life at 6 am every alternate morning, when the coals are lit, while baking begins at 7 am by our talented Head Baker, Zelna.

We offer a variety of baked breads to satisfy your taste buds, from white to brown, seeded loaf to sourdough. Overnight guests at the Lord Milner Hotel can enjoy our scrumptious loaves at the breakfast buffet, ensuring a good ol’ Karoo start to your day! Bread can also be purchased from The Coffee House (open to day visitors and hotel guests alike) where it is used for a variety of sandwiches and bread baskets.

To us, this old-school form of bread baking is an art, and somehow, we think the loaves come out fluffier and tastier than before... come try for yourselves!

Have we tantalised your tastebuds yet? Visit Matjiesfontein and get a taste of the past with our delicious fresh breads.

With love from,
The Matjiesfontein Team




Reference List:

Reference, 2020. Who invented the oven? Available at: https://www.reference.com/history/invented-oven-692232c69d77cd18

Wikipedia, no date. History of bread. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_bread