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Making 2,000-year-old bread
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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.
28 March – 29 September 2013
From the bustling street to the intimate spaces of a Roman home,
this major exhibition will take you to the heart of people’s lives
in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Find out more
Bringing the Romans to life in the heart of London
Come to the British Museum for a range of lectures, workshops, films and craft activities exploring life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
By exhibition curator
This captivating book explores the lives of the ordinary people of Pompeii and Herculaneum buried by the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Includes new photography and over 200 objects.
Download the official exhibition app
Immerse yourself in the life of the two Roman cities through exclusive video footage and curator interviews. Explore the story of Vesuvius's eruption in the interactive timeline to see the differing fates of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.