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Roman/Pompeian Bread
#1
I have seen some photos of and refs to the eight piece sliced bread that has been found in Pompeii, but does anyone have a recipe or a method? Is it just a bread recipe, cooked in a round tin, with the segments cut in the bread before baking?

Thanks for any help
Alan Vales

"That s not how they did it in Gladiator!" Big Grin <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt="Big Grin" title="Very Happy" />Big Grin Confusedhock: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt="Confusedhock:" title="Shocked" />Confusedhock: Big Grin <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt="Big Grin" title="Very Happy" />Big Grin
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#2
Not a real recipe, since none survive, but several methods of approximating.

First opff, the Roman world had more than one type of bread. There must have been hundreds if not thousands of regional recipe variations iof which only a few are known by namke, even feweer by any characteristics.

What I do if I want to produce 'Roman bread' is this:

Get a sourdough culture. I can make it myself, but I might as well buy it. The culture won't be any more authentic either way. I live in Northern europe, and near a major brewery, so the yeasts will be very different from what you'd get in central Italy.

Use spelt or bread wheat wholemeal flour. Cato describes the use of semolina for making 'Picentine' bread, which is good, too. Just don't use durum wheat semolina.

I mix the sourdough, flour or semolina, and water to make a gooey paste and leave it to rise. If I'm in a hurry I add yeast, too. After it has risen and gone all bubbly, I add some salt and enough extra flour to make a firm, springy dough. You can see it is 'good' when you push it in with a finger and it 'springs' back a little when you let go. That takes considerable kneading, which is wjy I thank the Gods of the hearthfire for my KitchenAid. Better than a slave, and cheaper maintenance, too.

The dough, once again risen, gets put into a baking tin (or pottery mould) and cut at the top. That is where the 'segments' come in. then you let it rise once more and bake it.

'Picentine' bread apparently involved a very long fermentation time, so it was probably rather airy and loose. Other breads also involved the addition of cheese curds, olive oil, and various condiments. A Byzantine recipe recommends seseame seeds, almond oil, fennel seeds, salt and gum mastic. That combination is remarkably tasty in a well-risen wheat dough.
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
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#3
Thanks

I guess I was wondering where the scetions came from, and how that was done, I'll have to try that and see what kind results I get.


Thanks
Alan Vales

"That s not how they did it in Gladiator!" Big Grin <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt="Big Grin" title="Very Happy" />Big Grin Confusedhock: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt="Confusedhock:" title="Shocked" />Confusedhock: Big Grin <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt="Big Grin" title="Very Happy" />Big Grin
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#4
like focaccia bread then sort of, i should like to try this-thanks for the recipe then
-Jason

(GNAEVS PETRONIVS CANINVS, LEGIIAPF)


"ADIVTRIX PIA FIDELIS"
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#5
Tried a similar recipe with fantastic results! It's a good all-round dinner bread, but it tends to crumble if you try to slice it thinly enough for sandwiches.

I do have to say, though, that I was surprised to find pictures of said bread from the ruins of pompeii on the 'net. I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised, given the ashes and lava preserved individual people and their facial expressions.
Lucius (Ryan)
Montani Semper Liberi
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#6
Quote:surprised to find pictures of said bread from the ruins of pompeii
The bread was carbonized, and not just bread but eggs, nuts, wood, and other organic materials, like papyrii. There are several examples of this.
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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