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Roman bread
#1
Hi all i am wordering if anyone knows how to make Roman army Bread Big Grin

Thank s
"The Kaiser knows the Munsters,
by the Shamrock on their caps,
And the famous Bengal Tiger, ever ready for a scrap,
And all his big battalions, Prussian Guards and grenadiers,
Fear to face the flashing bayonets of the Munster Fusiliers."

Go Bua
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#2
A basic recipe for hardtack is this:

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

...although I know a guy who just does it by feel. He starts with the flour, adds some water and oil, a bit of salt, mushes it with his hands, maybe adds more flour...basically makes it by intuition.

But you can use the above recipe to make a dough. Form into 4" "pancakes" and place on ungreased cookie sheets, poke some holes in them, and bake at 250 degrees. After 2 hours, test them by prying one off the pan and breaking it in half--if it is hard and dry all the way through, it's done, but if not, give it another hour. Or you can also just turn the oven off and go to bed, they'll be done in the morning, and they'll last until the end of time.
Aurelia Coritana
aka Laura Sweet
[url:3tjsw0iy]http://www.theromanway.org[/url]
[url:3tjsw0iy]http://www.legionten.org[/url]

Si vales, gaudeo. (If you are well, then I am happy.)
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#3
Thanks very much Big Grin
"The Kaiser knows the Munsters,
by the Shamrock on their caps,
And the famous Bengal Tiger, ever ready for a scrap,
And all his big battalions, Prussian Guards and grenadiers,
Fear to face the flashing bayonets of the Munster Fusiliers."

Go Bua
Reply
#4
You are most welcome! I have lots of other (non-army-type) bread recipes, if you are interested.

My current fave: "Mushroom bread" so named because the loaf is shaped like a mushroom. Fun!
Aurelia Coritana
aka Laura Sweet
[url:3tjsw0iy]http://www.theromanway.org[/url]
[url:3tjsw0iy]http://www.legionten.org[/url]

Si vales, gaudeo. (If you are well, then I am happy.)
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#5
Greetings Aurelia

Is that the only bread the legionaries ate, or did they also favor other recipes?

And how about the citizens of Rome itself -- one would think they would enjoy something a little "better" than Army Bread?

Thanks!

:wink:

Narukami
David Reinke
Burbank CA
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#6
I also use the same recipe as Avrelia except I use spelt flour which you can get from most shops.
Regards Brennivs Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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#7
I made a bunch of these once, using this recipe. I read it on the Legio XX website.

They can kill a man at 20 meters when used by a skilled thrower.

I think in some ovens 2 hours baking time is much too long!

Vale
Jef Pinceel
a.k.a.
Marcvs Mvmmivs Falco

LEG XI CPF vzw
>Q SER FEST
http://www.LEGIOXI.be
Reply
#8
Quote:Is that the only bread the legionaries ate, or did they also favor other recipes? ... And how about the citizens of Rome itself -- one would think they would enjoy something a little "better" than Army Bread?

I'm not sure about what variety of bread the soldiers would have eaten. I only have the one recipe. But back in Rome, the citizens had a wide variety of bread, from unleavened cheesy bread to light and yeasty bread. Some are spongy like ciabatta, some are very like a modern french bread - crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. When I make Roman breads, I usually can't choose just one, and I'll make several at a time.

Considering that the average Roman ate about 2 pounds of bread each day, a wide variety was crucial. They used not only wheat grain, but also spelt, barley, millet, rice, and others. I have two favorite cookbooks for bread recipes based on Apicius, Athenaeus and Cato. They are:

Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens
By Mark Grant
A Taste of Ancient Rome
By Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa (translated by Anna Herklotz)

Quote:I think in some ovens 2 hours baking time is much too long!

You are so right! At the last event where I served bread, I had to get one of our soldiers to come over and break the hardtack with the pommel of his gladius! I think the idea was for the ancients to soak it in broth or something else soup-like before trying to eat it.
Aurelia Coritana
aka Laura Sweet
[url:3tjsw0iy]http://www.theromanway.org[/url]
[url:3tjsw0iy]http://www.legionten.org[/url]

Si vales, gaudeo. (If you are well, then I am happy.)
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#9
Given that energy was expensive, I can't see the Romans letting anything sit in an oven longer than necessary. Are there any examples of the hardtack? I thought the only existing bread was the carbonized stuff from Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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#10
Thanks for the information Aurelia. Smile

I will take a look at those books.

Thanks again.

:wink:

Narukami
David Reinke
Burbank CA
Reply
#11
Quote:Given that energy was expensive, I can't see the Romans letting anything sit in an oven longer than necessary
A wood-fired oven will hold heat for much longer than 2 hours. Once heated to baking temperature, regular breads requiring high heat could be baked first, followed by those that need less, ending with hardtack as the last batch. They'd simply watch and take the breads out at the required time. Hardtack baked in higher heat burns (not quite as much as the carbonized Pompeii bread, of course) before it's done in the middle.

Typically, there would be a stone floor in the oven. The stone and brick/clay surrounding surfaces heated up by a wood fire made for a very efficient oven.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#12
Quote:Are there any examples of the hardtack? I thought the only existing bread was the carbonized stuff from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Those are the only archaeological remains that I have seen as well. But there are several ancient authors that have written about different breads (Apicius, Athenaeus, etc.)
Aurelia Coritana
aka Laura Sweet
[url:3tjsw0iy]http://www.theromanway.org[/url]
[url:3tjsw0iy]http://www.legionten.org[/url]

Si vales, gaudeo. (If you are well, then I am happy.)
Reply
#13
The few times that we have made Roman hardtack, I would agree that it could kill a man at 20 yds! They had to soak it is in water, wine, or something before eating.

We sometimes cheat a little, substitute 4 teaspoons of honey for the salt or to cheat a little more, add 4 tablespoons of sugar and one tablespoon of ground cinnamon instead of salt. This will be a little easier on the palate and give you some variety. Note that these will not last as well, since all sorts of little critters love sugar!

I am not sure if this is accurate or not!
Joshua B. Davis

Marius Agorius Donatus Minius Germanicus
Optio Centuriae
Legio VI FFC, Cohors Flavus
[url:vat9d7f9]http://legvi.tripod.com[/url]

"Do or do not do, their is no try!" Yoda
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#14
It would not keep Big Grin oops: and it was grand but i was wordering as to would a Gas oven be best to bake it as i have a very old electric oven and in short It was hard on the outside but still soft in the inside :?:


P.S Thanks again
"The Kaiser knows the Munsters,
by the Shamrock on their caps,
And the famous Bengal Tiger, ever ready for a scrap,
And all his big battalions, Prussian Guards and grenadiers,
Fear to face the flashing bayonets of the Munster Fusiliers."

Go Bua
Reply
#15
My result came very close to the carbonized stuff from Pompei. It tastes very much like it too I suspect :lol:

The biscuits keep very well though. I have some of them in one of the bags on my furca for about 2 years now. I always trick new recruits into eating them, which often succeeds. Good fun seeing and hearing those teeth break :twisted:

One of my commilitones always tries to bake bread in an open fire. He places the dough on a flat stone, covers this with a ceramic bowl and shovels some coals over them. Until now it never worked though. One of the last times he tried it I had to break the charred clump into pieces using a dolabra. :lol:
Jef Pinceel
a.k.a.
Marcvs Mvmmivs Falco

LEG XI CPF vzw
>Q SER FEST
http://www.LEGIOXI.be
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