The Traditional Berber Oven and bread
Also called a Ferrane or communal, the traditional Berber oven is made of clay.
How does a clay oven work?
Wood is burned inside the oven. This method is called firing, which not only hardens the clay but also allows the dough to cling to the inner oven wall after the oven has been fired a second time and also tempers the oven to better retain heat. The thickness of the oven wall helps preserve residual heat.
The Oven, Bread, and Culture
Most Moroccan neighborhoods have a ferrane. Every morning, dough made by each home is brought to the shared oven to be baked. Bread is a symbol of community in Morocco and is considered sacred. As a guest, you may be offered bread with tea; this is a gesture of friendship and how bonds are built.
In Moroccan culture, bread is important and used as an eating utensil. Round bread, called Kohbz, is the most commonly made and consumed. It is served at every meal. Like a pita, it is round and can be hollowed out and filled. The bakers of the bread are men, and the makers of the dough are women.
Fortunately, the age of native breadmaking is not yet over in Morocco. Bakers still fire up bundles of wood in their ovens every morning, and what a treat it is!