A Root Simple reader sent me a link to this video from the British Museum showing a chef recreating a 2,000 thousand year old loaf of bread found in one of the ovens of Pompeii.
Coincidentally, I’ve been reading Bread A Global History by William Rubel. Rubel puts forth a couple of theories about the history of bread. One, that there’s nothing new about white bread. The elites have been eating white bread for a long time. Ironically, healthier whole wheat breads tended to go to poor folks. Also he says that the Pompeian bread would most likely, as this chef proves, look and taste a lot like contemporary “artisinal” sourdoughs. In other words, the bread you buy at a fancy bakery like Tartine in San Francisco hasn’t changed much in 2,000 years.
The British Museum has helpfully provided a recipe should you want to make your own version of this bread.