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Eva Pančuhová: Wafer making machines

Decorated jaw of the wafer machine,Another tradition that remains today is the baking of Christmas wafers – a thin pastry from unleavened dough. In the past, it was the job of the local teacher. The wafers were baked in wafer machines and work with them was demanding as they were relatively large. There was a combination metal tool with a large opening scissors mechanism with two circular or rectangular plates – the jaws. The dough was poured between them. On the inner side of one or both plates was a carved pattern, which was negatively transferred to the wafer. This usually featured a religious motif; secular motifs were uncommon. The oldest wafer making machines were made by smiths. They were known in Slovakia by the sixteenth century. Baking wafers as celebrative pastry remains a tradition in Slovakia up to today, and although sometimes new machines are used, old wafer machines are far more common.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 02/2004:


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