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Pliny\'s grape juice bread experiment
Mnomnomnom... :-)

Thanks for posting this! :-)
Christian K.

No reconstruendum => No reconstruction.

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas.


[Image: BannerAER-1-1.jpg]
Looks good enough to eat! Wink
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
Yes, it was good enough to eat!

In case anyone is interested, here is the recipe I followed:

Day 1: Mix a very large heaping spoonful of whole grain wheat flour with warm, 40 C, water. The consistency should be like loose porridge. Cover it with a towel.

Days 2 – 7: Each day, add another large spoonful of whole grain wheat flour and warm water to maintain prior consistency. I probably added ½ decilitre of water each day. Warm water can help the natural yeast grow, but if you get it too hot it might kill them. Stir vigorously and try to smooth out any lumps. The mix should be bubbly by about day 2 or 3 and give off a faint sour smell.

Days 8 – 9: Twice a day, add another large spoonful of whole grain wheat flour and warm water.

Day 10: The “starter” should be very frothy by this time. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Add ½ decilitre of passito. Mix in regular wheat flour and knead. I did it by feel, but probably added about five decilitres of flour. Add it slowly, because you don’t want to put too much in.

Keep the dough very moist. Whenever it begins to stick to your hands, wash them. Don’t dry your hands – keep them very wet when you go back to knead the dough again.

Form the dough into a French-style loaf. It will have a tendency to flatten as it rises, so don’t be afraid to make the loaf very tall and thin, almost like a book standing on end. As it rises, it will flatten out into a more normal shape. Let it rise until nearly doubled. (I couldn’t wait this long, unfortunately.) The rising may take a while, like 2 or 3 hours. It may take some time before you can see it expanding, so don’t despair. You can put the loaf on a rack over warm water to help the process, and you should check it periodically so it doesn’t dry out. If you see a dry skin forming on the loaf, spray it with warm water.

Bake at 180 C for 40 minutes. According to Pliny, eat it by dipping it into a mixture of milk and honey.
David J. Cord
Many people test recipes. In your area, Roman food, I suggest you look at the excellent work of Sally Granger:

More generally, a much later period, you could look at the work of Ivan Day -- mostly Early Modern Britain:

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