The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overdone toast?

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breadforfun's picture

Overdone toast?

A fascinating find.  This loaf of bread, discovered at Pompeii, has been preserved for nearly two millenia under the volcanic ash that destroyed the city.

The markings at the left come from a bread stamp, which is described here:

It reminds me a bit of that loaf I forgot in the oven...;-)


aptk's picture

Now I believe that a bread stamp would be a wonderful gadget, I want one!


gary.turner's picture

Bread stamp discussion from 2007.

Be sure to read the link in the original post.



breadforfun's picture

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the links you posted. Interesting reading.


Antilope's picture

maybe they should set the bread machine to "Light Crust". ;-) 

"Caesar we have bad news and good news.

Pompeii is in ruins, but there's plenty of well done toast for everybody!"


Antilope's picture

In AD 79, a baker put his loaf of bread into the oven. Nearly 2,000 years later it was found during excavations in Herculaneum. The British Museum asked Giorgio Locatelli to recreate the recipe as part of his culinary investigations for Pompeii Live. Try it for yourself using Giorgio's recipe.

2,000 year old Pompeii Bread


400g biga acida (sourdough)
12g yeast
18g gluten
24g salt
532g water
405g spelt flour
405g wholemeal flour


Melt the yeast into the water and add it into the biga. Mix and sieve the flours together with the gluten and add to the water mix. Mix for two minutes, add the salt and keep mixing for another three minutes. Make a round shape with it and leave to rest for one hour. Put some string around it to keep its shape during cooking. Make some cuts on top before cooking to help the bread rise in the oven and cook for 30–45 minutes at 200 degrees (C)

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

They were using yeast as a measurable baking ingredient  in 79 AD…

Capn Dub's picture
Capn Dub

and Hodgson Mill gluten, too.

Antilope's picture

switched the recipe. In the video they use authentic type flour and a wild yeast starter, but in the published recipe they dumbed it down with modern yeast and modern ingredients. Watch the video.