For six thousand years and more it is the oven, however crude or complex, which has transformed the sticky wet dough into bread.
It is the oven which influences the final character of the loaf; the effieciencycy of an oven, or lack of it, can determine the success or failure of any bread baker's business. It was the Egyptians who first used a manufactured portable oven.
Indeed, there are scholars who have theorized that a taste for ale prompted the beginning of agriculture, in which case humans have been brewing for some 10,000 years...
In Jerusalem there was a bakers' quarter where bread was baked in tiers of stone-built ovens, or furnaces as they were called in the Bible.51-52) "The brewing of beer may well have occurred soon after the production of cereal crops, and no doubt for a long time beer was home-produced and in the hands of housewives responsible for preparing the gruel or bread..first production of beer may be reasonably considered as an accidental discovery resulting for the malting of grain for other purposes." ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins: Maryland] 1998 (p.166) On the Web Recommended reading: English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David Six Thousand Years of Bread, H. Jacob The Story of Bread, Ronald Sheppard and Edward Newton Ancient ovens & baking "The most important part of the baker's equipment is, and always has been, his oven.Sources generally agree the discovery of the powers of yeast was accidental."No one has yet managed to date the origins of beer with any precision, and it is probably an impossible task.
This was a beehive- or barrel-shaped container of baked clay, usually divided into two by a central horizontal partition.