10 Strange Bread Baking Beliefs and Superstitions

Bread, long a symbol of plenty, was an important part of people’s diets for well over 2,000 years (long before the gluten free diets of today). It is mentioned in nearly all religions, from Christianity to Judaism, and, of course, Paganism. Native Americans made nutty flat breads from acorn meal and corn meal. Among the ancient Egyptians, bread and beer were the staples of their diet. In fact, you cannot research religion or history without stumbling upon the simple fact that bread was central to life. For this reason, there are many superstitions about bread that have survived to the present day.

Love Rising

In Wales, when you have an excellent bread rising day, it means that you are loved and love can make even the coldest loaf rise with joy. Is there a pun there? I don’t know, but I love-love the wording.

Stop Singing

Never sing when you are baking bread if you live in Highland Scotland. Doing so will take the wind out of the bread and it will not rise.

Fairies, Be Gone!

Among the Welsh Gypsies, it was a custom to hang a piece of bread wrapped in a cloth pouch around a baby’s neck. They believed this would keep the fairies away, but the practice could also cause the baby to become strangled in the cord. I think I’d rather risk the fairies.

Dead Bake

In England, there is a superstition that states you must never attempt to bake bread if there is a corpse in the house. The bread will not rise. So for all of you serial killing bread bakers, keep your corpses outside of the house.

Feeding the Devil

Bread crumbs should never be thrown into a fire. When you do so, you feed the devil.

Friend Slice

Wondering when your friends will stop in for a visit? If you accidentally drop a slice of bread while cutting it, they are on their way.

Liar, Liar

If you are having problems cutting a loaf of bread evenly, it means you have been telling lies.

Good Luck

In a pinch for a good luck charm? Grab a piece of bread crust and tuck it in your pocket.

To the Gallows You Go

Keep an eye on any leftover bread when you have company over. If a guest sneaks off with any piece left over and tosses it over the gallows, you will meet your end in a noose.

Third Hell

Guys, if you are in Turkey, avoid stepping on a piece of bread at all cost. Doing so will send you to the third hell where you will spend eternity being gored by an ox.

Sources:

Roud, S. (2003). The Penguin guide to the superstitions of Britain and Ireland. London: Penguin.