|Peasant and horse team harrowing the fields before sowing wheat (Luttrell Psalter 1325-1335)|
And of course cereals were used to make bread. Commonly grown cereals in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were rye, buckwheat, spelt, millet, barley, oats and wheat. Cereals were a valuable commodity and a failed harvest was a disaster.
|MedievalMorsels' white wheat bread, "manchet" for a Tudor dollhouse manor or castle|
|Luxury wheat bread for a 12th scale Tudor Elizabethan dollshouse|
|Luttrell Psalter - peasant sowing wheat on the estate|
Peasants then would not have eaten their cereals as bread. And they certainly could not have afforded coarse wheatmeal for their cooking pot. In the rural villages it was only on nobles' estates or the monastery, priory or abbey land holdings where the mill ground and sold. The landlord's cereal meal and flours were baked in his ovens. The humble peasant would need to set his sights lower. He might afford some inexpensive grain to pound at home. Buckwheat - which would grow just about anywhere - was a favourite for porridge and "pan"cakes. A “maza” - an unleavened cereal meal dough or paste, thicker than porridge - could be shaped and baked on a stone or in the embers of the fire..
Never mind the fact that it was the estate peasants who sowed the fields and harvested, stacked and threshed the grains - including valuable wheat - for his landlord.
|The estate wheat harvest, all the peasants involved|
|Threshing estate wheat|
If a peasant was lucky enough to work directly as part of the manor household, lesser quality rye or "maslin" or mixed grain bread would be baked for the servants, in addition to the higher quality household "manchet" bread for the noble masters.