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WAKEFIELD WHERE GIRLS HAVE BIG FUTURES. WAKEFIELD WHERE GIRLS HAVE NO LIMITS. Classics Experience - Bake Roman Bread


Roman Bread In AD 79, a baker put 80 loaves of bread into the oven, just like any other day in the Roman city of Pompeii. Nearly 2,000 years later they were discovered carbonised, still inside the oven. Not far away, in Herculaneum the loaf pictured below was found in a house looking out over the sea. It was never eaten: the heat of the material that erupted from Mount Vesuvius charred it completely. As part of its 2013 Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition, The British Museum challenged chef Giorgio Locatelli to make a recreation of that loaf in his London kitchen. You can follow the process in this YouTube video and make a delicious loaf of bread. The ingredients and method are overleaf for you, as well as a simple alternative using yeast. At Wakefield Girls’ the Classics Department bakes Roman bread for visitors to try on Open Morning. We have used Spelt flour as it was a variety of wheat introduced to Britain by the Romans. In recent years this type of flour has become increasingly popular and you should be able to buy it in most supermarkets or online. You can even buy white or wholemeal versions and both are very tasty: Paul Hollywood says it is great toasted and spread with lots of butter!


Georgio's recipe 600g biga acida (sourdough) 4 tsp sugar 4 tsp salt c. 500ml water 500g spelt or buckwheat flour 500g wholemeal or plain flour This makes quite a large loaf, so you may find halving the ingredients makes for easier baking at home. PS) One of our former students made these 'symbols of the gods' bread rolls. Can you guess which gods they represent ?


Method Mix the wholemeal and spelt flours together, and pour this on to your work surface. Create a large depression in the centre. Dissolve the salt and sugar into the water. Mix the sourdough into the flour bit by bit, pouring it into the well you’ve just created. Once the sourdough is roughly mixed, begin to pour the water into the well slowly, mixing gently with your hands. Mix until all the water is gone, and any excess flour is incorporated into the dough. You will end up with a rough ball. Start kneading the dough gently, folding it back on itself so it can ‘take in’ some air. Knead for a few minutes until you can form it into a smooth ball. Flatten the ball slightly as in the video, and transfer it to an oiled baking tray. Cover it, and leave it to rise for 1.5–2 hours in a warm room. While you’re waiting, perhaps investigate some other ancient recipes to enjoy your bread with! The next two steps are optional, but if you’re going for historical accuracy here, they’re a must. Cut a piece of string long enough to go round your risen dough, with a bit left over to tie a knot. You might want to sterilise the string in boiling water (get an adult to help) and let it soak so that it doesn’t burn in the oven. Wrap the string around the sides of the dough, pull it tight so it makes a lip around the side, and tie a knot to secure it. Now, take a knife to score the top into eight equal segments. Real loaves from the Roman period were often stamped too. If you want, now’s the time to add your own stamp. It could be your initials or whatever you want, but bear in mind that your stamp must be oven-proof, and will need to be weighed down during baking with something heavy (like baking beans wrapped in foil). We have done this using the tip of a small sharp knife (again, an adult might need to help or supervise). Bake for 30–45 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius (around 400 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep an eye on your loaf so it doesn’t come out looking carbonised like the one from Herculaneum! Let it cool and enjoy your Roman bread: Mr Hargreaves recommends following Paul Hollywood’s advice!


Simple Recipe 500g spelt flour ½ tsp salt Sachet of yeast 1 tbsp honey 400ml warm water (⅔ cold water to ⅓ boiling water works well) 1 tbsp olive oil PS) These are bread rolls we baked for Open Morning


Method Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Dissolve the honey in the warm water and roughly mix it into the flour. While still roughly mixed, and the olive oil and mix well. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or stretch and fold 100 times until you have a smooth dough. Flatten the ball slightly as in the video, and transfer it to an oiled baking tray. Cover it, and leave it to rise for 1.5–2 hours in a warm room. While you’re waiting, perhaps investigate some other ancient recipes to enjoy your bread with! The next two steps are optional, but if you’re going for historical accuracy here, they’re a must. Cut a piece of string long enough to go round your risen dough, with a bit left over to tie a knot. You might want to sterilise the string in boiling water (get an adult to help) and let it soak so that it doesn’t burn in the oven. Wrap the string around the sides of the dough, pull it tight so it makes a lip around the side, and tie a knot to secure it. Now, take a knife to score the top into eight equal segments. Real loaves from the Roman period were often stamped too. If you want, now’s the time to add your own stamp. It could be your initials or whatever you want, but bear in mind that your stamp must be oven-proof, and will need to be weighed down during baking with something heavy (like baking beans wrapped in foil). We have done this using the tip of a small sharp knife (again, an adult might need to help or supervise). Bake for 30–45 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius (around 400 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep an eye on your loaf so it doesn’t come out looking carbonised like the one from Herculaneum! Let it cool and enjoy your Roman bread.


We hope you enjoy your Roman Bread

Thanks Thanks for taking part. We'd love to see how your activity turned out. Do send us your pictures if you'd like to !

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Wakefield Girls' High School: Classics Experience - Baking Roman Bread  

Wakefield Girls' High School: Classics Experience - Baking Roman Bread  

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