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Roman bread
#16
Quote::?: Does anyone know when yeasts began to be cultivated and sorted by type? Today, you can buy dozens of different varieties, which will make differently flavored wines from the same grapes.. :?:

Still searching for an answer to that. Best I've found is that yeast began to be cultivated and kept in the Middle Ages sometime. Anything more specific than that?
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#17
I am not sure this is as much of a light bulb moment as I think it, but my last spelt loaf has come out - dare I say it - almost perfect!

Cheated in so far as I used a normal yeast but I baked it in a foil tray as opposed to a loaf tin/roasting dish. I am not sure what others use for their bread, but this seemed to make a difference in that heat got through to the dough evenly and although I had a nice crust all round, I had a nice, spongy inner.

And it tastes just fine!
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#18
Fresh baked bread = Drooooooool
Andy Volpe - aka - Titus Vulpius Dominicus
"Build a time machine, it would make this [hobby] a lot easier."
andyvolpe.com
Legio III Cyrenaica ~ New England U.S.
(Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Legion-III...7570148688)
Higgins Armory Museum 1931-2013 (worked there 2001-2013)
Collection moved to Worcester Art Museum
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#19
I'm not sure how much of a victory I can claim with this, but I tried making hard tack or buccellatum today (wholemeal flour, water, salt) and it came out...surprisingly edible actually. I made it slightly too thick to be easy to eat raw (nibbling on the corners gave a taste like crisp rolls), but soaking and frying in olive oil produced something not entirely unpleasant...
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#20
Bit of a revival. To answer the question about yeast selection, the nineteenth century. The development of microscopes allowed the selection of specific strains of yeast. Lots of work by wine producers in France and brewers in England, Germany and Denmark. Big, industrialised brewers wanted a consistent product and of course, the "correct" yeast was essential for that.

On the other hand, Mother Nature does throw up some amazing yeasts. A great example being the wild yeasts responsible for the delicious lambic beers of Belgium.

I suspect, and I would need to research this to be sure, that Roman bakers might have had a ready supply of yeasts in their equipment. I know that during the medieval and seventeenth century periods English bakers used wooden mixing troughs for their dough. These were not washed out and so built up colonies of wild yeasts. Does anybody know if there is a similar background in other European cultures or colonial America? Anybody know about Roman bakery equipment?

P.s. Over here in the UK spelt flour is very commonly available in supermarkets. You can now even choose between white and whole grain.
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#21
Quote:I suspect, and I would need to research this to be sure, that Roman bakers might have had a ready supply of yeasts in their equipment. I know that during the medieval and seventeenth century periods English bakers used wooden mixing troughs for their dough. These were not washed out and so built up colonies of wild yeasts. Does anybody know if there is a similar background in other European cultures or colonial America? Anybody know about Roman bakery equipment?

I did quite a bit of research about Roman bakeries for my novel, where one of the main characters is a baker. A lot of the bread the Romans made were unleavened, like Cato's libum. But when it comes to leavened bread they had many different varieties. Some bakers used sour dough continually, taking a bit away to make the loaves rise and feeding the 'root' or 'mother dough' to use the next day. They also had different leavening agents - in Gaul they used beer froth, according to Pliny. Other times they simply let each batch of dough rest for a long enough period of time for wild yeast to become established. Here was my experiment to make Pliny's grape juice bread in that manner.
David J. Cord
http://www.davidcord.com
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#22
That bread looks just like the stuff my dear old grandma God bless her used to make back in the 40s when I was a young boy, I would go to visit on the Saturday where the house would smell of yeast then back on Sunday where I got the first crusty bit covered in just Stawberry Jam for butter was a premium in those war days.

I have had for many years now had an original Roman Quern-stone fitted ontop of my original Hypercaust pillar as a bird table in my garden and when I look at it I often wonder just how much gritt did these people get in their gut from these things but then the bread must have been gorgous just like my Ganny made.
Brian Stobbs
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#23
You can get yrslf some "Kamut" flour from Bob's Red Mill, and you can get different ancient yeast cultures from "Sourdoughs International" online. Don't forget about barley, too...
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#24
Quote:this is where I got my recipie from, so if anyone wants it to turn out like that. My mom and I had to go to the store to get some of the stuff.

Hi Dan, the link is dead (at least I cannot open it). Could you therefore please copy and paste the recipe from that link? Your bread looks really delicious so I would like to try your recipe.
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#25
Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was not identified and isolated until the mid-nineteenth-century. Louis Pasteur is most identified with explaining the role of yeast in fermentation. Until yeast was isolated by Pasteur it was impossible to produce a pure strain of yeast.

The yeast industry, particularly the bread yeast industry, is a product of advances in science and materials processing in the later decades of the nineteenth-century. Todays yeast catalogues for brewers and winemakers with their plethora of strains of S. cerevisiae is very recent. It has been furthered by DNA testing.

While we do speak, historically, of yeasted breads -- yeast has long been mentioned in texts as a fermenting agent -- that yeast was usually obtained from the brewer but the brewers did not have pure strains of yeast. Their fermentations were all contaminated to a greater or lesser degree with Lactobacilli and other contaminants. Lactobacilli are the primary fermenting agents in "sourdough" starters. Historic "yeasts" are probably best conceived of as mixes of S. cereevisiae and contaminates, often the bacterias of a sourdough cultures.
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#26
Then there is this type of flour from the UK, which looks to have less gluten in it, more along the lines of the ancient stuff:

http://bakerybits.co.uk/bakery-ingredien...1-5kg.html

Not sure how this is different from other spelt flours except that this one is labeled "Roman".
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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