Bread in Bakery, Myths and Superstitions about Bread

Baking Bread
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  sebilden

Bread in Bakery, Nothing better than smelling a fresh loaf baking. Bread happens to be one of my favorite additions to a good meal. Whether it be sliced bread, cornbread, fresh rolls, it all makes a meal complete. Although bread is sometimes quite high in calories, which is not good for my diet, I still love it.
I did a post a while back on 15 Interesting Food Facts to Gobble Up which gave some pretty interesting facts on food items that most of you probably haven’t heard of before. But I wanted to cover some superstitious beliefs and myths that are associated with bread, I just found some of these superstitions quite nifty.

Myths and Superstitions of Bread

Bread is a major staple in many cultures diet, so it’s no wonder that so many superstitions and myths have developed over the years. It also has great religious significance and is normally associated with communion and “partaking of the bread”. Because of it’s religious significance, it’s thought to be a major sin to throw away unwanted bread, and if you do, it’s said you will go hungry. This could be the reason a lot of people give birds their stale or unwanted bread. This way it is used by one of the creatures of the Earth, rather than going to waste. Another scary rumor is that if you throw bread into a fire, it’s the same as feeding the devil! So let’s remember NOT to do that!

Superstitions on Preparing Bread

Since bread has been prepared for hundreds of years and is known as one of the earliest of baked goods, you can see how it would be loaded with a variety of superstitions.

Many parts of the world actually believe that a menstruating woman who touches the dough will cause it to not rise. And if the dough happens to crack during the shaping of a loaf, or during the baking process, there will be a funeral in the near future.

It is also said that boys should keep away from women while they’re kneading dough. According to superstition, if the woman happens to stroke the young mans face with dough on her hand, he will never be able to grow a beard. Some cultures will even mark the top of a loaf with a cross in order to keep it free of evil spirits while baking.

Placing the bread into the oven should always be a one person job, if two people put the bread in the oven together, a fight between them will soon occur. You must also be very careful when placing it in the oven, because if the loaf happens to topple over or goes in upside down, there will soon be a death in the household.

Scottish superstition says that singing is also not allowed during the baking process, nor should bread be cut with a knife while another batch is baking. Have you ever baked a batch of bread where some of the loaves were stuck together? If you have, then pay close attention to how many loaves were attached. Four loaves stuck together means two will join in marriage, while five loaves together is significant of a funeral.

There seems to be great importance placed on breaking open the first loaf, rather than cutting it. You should also use a skewer instead of a knife when testing the bread. There is an old proverb that seems to speak of this: “She that pricks bread with fork or knife, Will never be happy, maid or wife”. This is also relevant when baking cakes.

Myths and Superstitions on Serving Bread

When serving the bread, be sure it is sat on the table in an upright position, if not this could bring misfortune. Slicing of the bread is also quite important, it should always be cut from the top edge and never from both ends. Now here’s a strange one… A woman that places a round loaf on the table upside down means that she also spends much time on her back as a prostitute.

Breaking of a loaf or cake while cutting is a very bad omen, it could bring anything from arguments amongst family members to death of a family member.

Discovering a hollow spot inside the loaf may mean different things among different cultures. Some believe it’s a sign of pregnancy for the woman that has baked the bread. Which is in short a sign of life. While others see it as a sign of death, meaning the hollow spot is a coffin or grave.

Hear this….Never pass the bread on the blade of a knife or toast it on the end of a knife, poverty will surely consume you.

Other Superstitious Uses for Bread

If you need to protect a child from evil during the night, it’s said to place a piece of bread under their pillow while they sleep. It may also be placed within their clothing in order to bring them good luck.

The United States is home to a belief that placing bread and coffee under your house will protect you from ghosts and demons. Also bread that was baked on Good Friday or Christmas has special healing powers. This is why some folks actually preserve this bread throughout the year to help protect the home and it’s occupants.

Many recipes over the years have been developed that may treat people for such things as toothache, diarrhoea and the whooping cough. Although for this to work properly, you must bury the bread underground for a certain time period before feeding it to the afflicted.

The bakers dozen, which is 13, was developed on the omen you should bake one extra loaf so the devil can have one. But this is purely superstition. In all reality the 13th item in a batch is to compensate for any shrinkage that may occur during the baking of the other 12 loaves.

But beware folks, anyone that eats a lot of bread will surely grow a chest full of hair. This may not be a bad thing to us men, but I’m sure the women out there should heed the warning.
Does your cultural or family beliefs consist of any other great myths or superstitions on bread?

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27 thoughts on “Bread in Bakery, Myths and Superstitions about Bread
  1. did you get your slice of bread and butter robert lolol please ignore the pee pee in the water,this might put you of it lololl

  2. Hi my mother always used to say that eating your crusts (off bread) would make your hair curl!

    1. Hi Kath, and thanks so much for sharing. I’ve not heard that one but very cool. I love to hear superstitions or cliche’s derived from other families and cultures!

  3. These superstitions about bread were a fun read! I had no idea there was so much ideology involving bread, how it’s prepared, made, and even served. I would love seeing the origins of all of these superstitions. Alas, there isn’t a way to be able to do that. When I bake bread in the future, I will be a bit more careful.

    1. Hey Phillius…yah some of the superstitions you read about definitely make you think about what you’re doing in day to day life. I’ll be writing more posts on superstitions as time allows. I’ve got a ton of them!

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