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The Festival Bake Oven

Kutztown Folk Festival visitors have their senses on overdrive as the aroma of fresh baked bread fills the air. The festival's bake oven offers tempting hearth-baked goods while giving spectators a look back in time at traditional outdoor baking techniques.

Classic 1800s Southeastern Pennsylvania Architecture

With its limestone foundation, brick hearth, and red clay tile roof, our bake oven is a classic example of early 1800s Southeastern Pennsylvania architecture. Early farmsteads were almost always laid out with a separate standalone bake oven or summer kitchen that would house a large walk-in fireplace complete with a smaller-sized baking area within.

Early each morning, bake oven tender Gary Hertzog builds his first of many large wood fires directly on the oven's hearth (baking area). Baking on the principles of "retained heat," Gary will "knock down" or clear out all the remaining ash and embers from the hearth area once the oven has reached the desired temperature.

Bake After Tasty Bake

Items requiring the highest amount of heat such as our famous high-top round bread loaves are loaded and baked first. When the bread is finished baking and removed from the oven, items requiring less heat such as pies or our giant iced cinnamon buns are loaded into the oven and baked on the heat from the original fire.

Gary will do up to six "fires" in one day, allowing for as many as eight to twelve separate "bakes" on any given day. Doing this many bakes in an oven that can hold up to 60 loaves of bread certainly allows for many a festival visitor to take home a tasty traditional treat!