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Making 2,000-year-old bread
In AD 79, a baker put his loaf of bread into the
oven. Nearly 2,000 years later it was found during excavations in
Herculaneum. The British Museum asked Giorgio Locatelli to recreate
the recipe as part of his culinary investigations for Pompeii Live.
Try it for yourself using Giorgio's recipe.
400g biga acida (sourdough)
405g spelt flour
405g wholemeal flour
Carbonised loaf of bread, AD 79, Roman, Herculaneum.
© Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei
Melt the yeast into the water and add it into the biga. Mix and sieve the flours together with the gluten and add to the water mix. Mix for two minutes, add the salt and keep mixing for another three minutes. Make a round shape with it and leave to rest for one hour.
Put some string around it to keep its shape during cooking. Make some cuts on top before cooking to help the bread rise in the oven and cook for 30–45 minutes at 200 degrees.