I continue to read your posts with interest. It should be inflated prior to baking. The photos area beautiful! Italy's most beautiful places: let's discover them! Farrell Monaco L eslie Warden of Roanoke College in Virginia has commandeered her daughter’s … Farrell Monaco is a lover of archaeology, travel, cooking, dogs, books, bread and baths… and not necessarily in that order. It seems logical that something was corded or ringed around the loaf so we’ll try this method to create the groove although I am not certain that twine would have made an efficient or cost-effective choice for the original bakers. A baker had kneaded and shaped the squat, round loaf, known as a panis quadratus, and slid it into an oven one day in A.D. 79, in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.We all know what happened next. Monaco’s take on panis quadratus browns to an oak color, is dusted with coarse flour, semolina, or wheat bran, and has a heavy crumb. Byzantines still called themselves Roman. ? Immediately turn down the oven to 220 deg. I have been debating this with Dr. Ken Albala (University of the Pacific/Food History) as well. But have you ever wondered what that bread might have tasted like? Note: Before you start this recipe, make sure that you’ve fed your leaven (starter) 8 hours prior to mixing. Really enjoyed reading it. How to Make 2000-Year-Old Roman Bread from Pompeii | Panis Quadratus. It featured in a post on baking with the Romans. We’ll never know though, as no written evidence was left to describe this. Perseus at tufts.edu). I have a question which I posted when I experimented with making Roman Bread. This step allows the dough to strengthen and rise as the gluten structure forms. I’d love to see how it turned out. Stretch and folds: After the 1 hour of autolysing (initial mix-and-sit phase) take the dough out and punch it down gently with your finger-tips on a clean surface. I tried baking the bread but it came out rock solid – is this normal or did I do something wrong? The area that I enjoy researching the most at Pompeii, of course, is food. The more you bake with your starter, the more you’ll know how long it will go in the rising process before it expires and the loaf deflates. Photo from WIKIMEDIA COMMONSPUBLIC DOMAIN Panis Siligineus or Panis Quadratus Fresco (National Archaeology Museum Naples). Mix the wet and dry ingredients together by hand or in a mixer. I duplicated the groove around the edge by placing a disk of one half the dough on tip of another. CAROLE RADDATO/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/CC-BY 2.0 Fresco of Panis Quadratus, or Panis Siligineusm from Ancient History Encyclopedia, Farrell Monaco. Place a small pan of water in the oven as you preheat it and leave it there throughout the baking process. For everything to do with the Roman Kingdom, Republic and the Empire up until the fall of the Western … If you have a baking stone or a large ceramic baking dish, that’d work the best. There is no end of research, discovery, theory and interpretation that can come from studying Pompeii, or Herculaneum, for that matter. It all comes together with the ring on the outside and the divisions. Hi Haley! Step 7. Pompeii’s Thermopolium of Pompeii was a sort of ancient snack counter. There’s a lot to explore here and I’m going to post a follow-up in a week or two given the high level of engagement and debate around the prep and form of these iconic loaves. I think that this is the simplest explanation. – Farrell. This recipe is well known because of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii on August 4, 79 AD. Making four slashes through the top of the loaf, cut approximately 1 cm deep into the loaf. Pompeii alone hosted a population of approximately 12,000 people on a grid covering almost 66 hectares of land; it is now widely accepted to be the most important archaeological site in the world. Step 1. It is probable that bakers may have used twine to define each of the eight sections of the panis quadratus but it does seem like a fairly intricate and tricky job to complete, requiring knots or loops at eight junctions on the twine that encircles the loaf horizontally. He feels that a circular pan lip made that lateral groove but I don’t think that’s the case; if you google images of Panis Quadratus you’ll see other loaves that show the bottom and the top of the bread are often the same size with a significant groove/indentation (in circumference) or the bottom portion of the loaf is sometimes larger. This debate is still ongoing but it is fascinating to see how food-related archaeological data from Pompeii and the surrounding areas can contribute to understanding the bigger picture in so many ways. I am making the recipe with my daughter for her Roman homework project. It’s called ‘Panis Quadratus‘, my friends, and historically it is one of the most beautiful representations of food ever found in the archaeological record. Hi, sorry, I probably just read over it but what starter should I use? Of course, we’ll never be 100% sure of how this loaf was made or why it’s shaped the way that it is (what the heck made that centre groove anyways?? Thanks for reading and offering your interpretations! I would use whatever you have available to you as most folks won’t have a brick oven to bake it in. It’s one of the most well preserved archaeological sites in the world and offers up a huge amount of data on food and drink, Monaco says. I’ll be posting a follow-up post to explore all of these theories. If you do then you’ve come to the right place. Place the shaped loaf into the baking dish. Many of us have seen the iconic images of carbonised loaves of bread that were excavated from Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other settlements in the Bay of Naples (Italy), that were destroyed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Thanks to archaeology — and Pompeii — we can still make it today. (1) do I have to use spelt flour or can I replace it with any other flour? If you end up with more than a cup of starter in your sponge, put the remainder back in with your mother starter. That would explain the divisions, and the groove from the twine. Who wants to make Pompeiian Bread? The ovens were fired around the clock and enough grain had to be imported from within the region or from provincially confiscated territories to supply the Roman people with their daily bread. Mix the flour and salt together in a separate bowl and then combine with the liquids. It seems to result in a good stable consistency. There is a tragic and romantic aspect to the manner in which the city and its population met its demise, during a catastrophic volcanic eruption in 79 AD, which creates a strong desire for many to learn more about the site and the people that inhabited it. (The loaf expanding in the pot). Pompeii is perhaps our best-known example, where the entire villages of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other settlements in the Bay of Naples were frozen in time in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius violently and suddenly erupted. Farrell Monaco L eslie Warden of Roanoke College in Virginia has commandeered her daughter's … You’ve baked like a Roman! Thank you! There’s no need to go any deeper as the loaf will rise again a bit more during the initial baking process and create a nice score. I’ll be posting a follow-up post shortly to explore those further. Panis Quadratus Submitted by Anne-Marie B on October 13, 2019 – 2:49am. The result was a horrific event that essentially created an invaluable archaeological time-capsule along the eastern Bay of Naples preserving many impressions of Roman daily life for many future generations to study. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15726244. Moretum, on the other hand, is latin for salad, but is more of a cheese, garlic, and herb pesto and is eaten spread on slices of bread. When I broke my first panis quadratus open, I swear that I could hear someone whisper ‘bonum panem fert‘ in my ear… I give good bread… But then again that might have been the mulsum talking! Let rest for an hour or two. So no pan… I tend to think that it’s probably twine that’s being used because I think the pistrinae would’ve had to cool these loaves by the hundreds. Tying the string around the loaf may well have been useful for cooling and storing the loaves as well as transporting them neatly and in an orderly and compact fashion to the customers who ordered them. People have wondered and researched how the original Pompeiian bread might have tasted, the ingredients that went into the making of the loaves, and why the sectioned bread was called Panis Quadratus. The string would then be pulled off after baking and reused. This is the 6 million dollar question! The loaf partially collapses but regains most of its volume from oven spring at the beginning of the bake. Taste the history of ancient Rome with this recipe for ancient Pompeiian bread. The finished loaf looks just like the ones in the mosaics and, taking into account the carbonization, the one from Pompeii. To knead the meal with sea-water, as is mostly done in the maritime districts, for the purpose of saving the salt, is extremely pernicious; there is nothing, in fact, that will more readily predispose the human body to disease. So, if you want to know more about panis quadratus and, why not, try to make it yourself and turn it into the talking point of your next dinner party, here’s a video to do just that! Carbonised Panis Quadratus (Boscoreale) Professional bakers in Rome, and in Pompeii, did not exist until the 2nd century BC and it is suggested that this advancement in specialized crafts has everything to do with the appropriation of Macedonia for the Republic by Aemilius Paulus. It was covered with poppy seeds and placed in a glass mold. So many of these things start out as practical applications but evolve into stylistic choices – perhaps the string was once a necessary requirement but evolved into a aesthetic application as changes in backing technologies and the grains available might have made the string-as-band redundant? (I’m a semi-retired bread baker by trade.). In this episode, I recreate the Panis Quadratus and explore the … We find it a rule, universally established by Nature, that in every kind of commissariat bread that is made, the bread exceeds the weight of the grain by one-third; and in the same way it is generally considered that that is the best kind of wheat, which, in kneading, will absorb one congius of water. It’s often possible to find starter for sale at your local bakery or grocery store. Food can provide insight if radiocarbon dating is used, for example, to date organic food residue, or we can use food remnants themselves as a relative dating tool to contextualise other objects found in the same environment. Once you’ve secured the twine and tied the bow, cover the loaf with a tea towel, and place it in a warm place in your kitchen to rise. Our panis quadratus also had another peculiarity: a horizontal line, all along its circumference, of which we know very little, starting with the reason it was made. Perhaps they were hung to cool? C. After thirty minutes remove the lid and, if you like, pull the paper out leaving the loaf i the pot. Now, gather the corners of the parchment paper up so that it forms a sling and lower this into the pot/Dutch oven. The ashes of Mount Vesuvius preserved this loaf of panis quadratus for millennia, allowing contemporary scholars to study and learn from this bread. Or, to make a sponge, take 1/2 cup of starter out of the main container and add 1 cup of flour and half a cup of water. A common saying of the day was to say that a baker ‘gave good bread’, ‘bonum panem fert’, which meant that he could be a trusted community member or a potential civic official. Why? The wheat of Cyprus is swarthy, and produces a dark bread; for which reason it is generally mixed with the white wheat of Alexandria; the mixture yielding twenty-five pounds of bread to the modius of grain. Here’s the stuffed tomatoes recipe you’re looking for: https://tavolamediterranea.com/2016/09/21/a-week-in-ravello-lemon-and-rice-stuffed-tomatoes/, There’s a search window at the top of the site that can help you find recipes faster. It is named so because of the four linear ‘cuts’ made to the loaf, creating eight evenly … Pairing this panis quadratus with accompaniments such as honey, strong olive oils, pepper, milk and fresh cheeses will bring out the sweet and earthy flavours of the wheat and bran as well as the tangy flavour of the starter. The grain of Sardinia weighs half a pound more, and that of Alexandria one-third of a pound more than that of Sardinia; the Sicilian wheat is the same in weight as the Alexandrian. Leave the parchment in place and give the top of the dough a misting of water. In fact, the adjective probably refers to the four lines used to create the eight sections on its surface: let’s not forget that quadratus means, in the end, with four lines! In pursuit of answers, Monaco decided to recreate a panis quadratus and bring the past into her kitchen. Go ahead and post this to Facebook. Thanks Nick! Here’s why: Preserved fruit and nuts that were examined further were known to have been ripe in the autumn and wine-making processes in ceramic dolia were found to have already been underway by the time that the eruption had occurred. Hi! The kids loved getting thier fingers in helping make the bread. There has been some conversation about this today on Facebook. Did you add yeast? All over the world, there has been huge interest in the carbonized loaves excavated from Pompeii. Farrell. I used a little more than half bread flour and the balance whole spelt flour, leavened with a culture I’ve had for more than 25 years. (I didn’t have time to read all the comments so apologies if somebody already suggested this idea), I know many users are suggesting loads of techniques, but couldn’t they possibly have used the same technique bakers use in modern day italy to make ‘rosette’ (in Rome) and ‘michette’ (in Milan)? The band serves to restricts the spread of the dough in the oven – forcing the dough to rise upwards, rather than out to the sides. This recipe for panis quadratus is something that I will be baking regularly in my home especially for special occasions. Take the baking twine and measure enough to encircle the exterior of entire loaf at the mid-section leaving ample length left over to tie the twine into a bow. pompeii-restaurant.com. The Bœotian wheat, again, weighs a whole pound more than these last, and that of Africa a pound and three quarters. Finally, the pay-off is just magnificent. If you enjoy history and archaeology — or the history of food — you may have come across images of large, round carbonized loaves, marked on top by lines that hint at the way to slice them: that’s what was known then as panis quadratus, or siligineus, the later name deriving from the type of flour, siligo, used to bake it. This also suggests that the advent of leavened bread-making by the Romans in the 2nd century, despite the feelings of disgust or impurity that ‘putrefied and rotten dough’ invoked in many, brought bread to a whole new level of social and dietary significance. Bread was prepared daily, in high volume, often in the home but mostly in commercial bakeries run by a Corpus Pistorum (or Collegium Pistorum): a veritable trade-union of powerful bakers who were likely looked upon as a Roman version of the ‘Hoffa teamsters’ of the day. It owes its name to the slashes on the top of the loaf that divides it into quarters. Pre-heat the oven to its maximum say 250 C with the Dutch pot or casserole inside. This version is a 100% wholewheat sourdough loaf that contains poppy seed, fennel seed and parsley. This fresco from the house of Julia Felix in Pompeii shows traditional round loaves with eight tear-off wedges. Make sure that the dough doesn’t sit too long and expire; this is where getting to know your own starter comes in handy. Aim for a greek yoghurt-like consistency, not a watery consistency. It is possible that the original bakers may have used twine to define each of the eight sections of the panis quadratus but it does seem like a fairly intricate and tricky job to complete, requiring knots or loops at eight junctions on a cord that would encircle the loaf horizontally. It might take 45 – 60 minutes. – Farrell, Your email address will not be published. Panis quadratus: let’s bake like the Romans! pompeii-restaurant.com. How to Make 2000-Year-Old Roman Bread from Pompeii | Panis Quadratus. Give yourself a pat on the back and a nice mug of mulsum! pompeii-restaurant.com. To understand the power that bakers once held in Imperial Rome, all one has to do is stand in the shadow of the enormous tomb of master baker Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces that was erected outside of Porta Maggiore in Rome during the 1st century BC. So I try not to let the whole process exceed seven hours. Hi Traci! Place the dough on a generous sheet of baking paper. Hi Don! 60.2k members in the ancientrome community. If the twine is of the thinner variety, double it in length. After each stretch-and-fold, cover the dough using a clean tea-towel or an overturned bowl and leave it sit for 30 minutes each time. If you have access to a large commercial oven or a ceramic or brock outdoor oven, just slide it onto the base of the ovem with a pizza or bread paddle. That’s a fantastic theory. It’s been very intriguing to hear everyone’s ideas on how these loaves were shaped! Whole wheat is fine and a hot stone mimics an oven floor beautifully as well. One other issue though… sometimes the sections aren’t exactly even in size. Italian hand gestures: let's have a little chat. You can feed the main starter 1 cup of flour and half a cup of water and leave it sit covered for 8 hours, for example. And the taste works. There’s been a lot of discussion around this in various forums this past week. The Pompeiian bread or ‘Panis Quadratus’, a new offering from the multi-format retailer, was a staple in Pompeii city, destroyed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Smash them in a bowl. The history and destruction of the ancient city of Pompeii is a topic that has captured the hearts and minds of historians and archaeologists for hundreds of years. Fear not, because, I’m getting ready to meet this wonderful group o, Copyright © 2020 Tavola Enterprises - No part of this web site including text, photographs, recipes and graphics may be reproduced, distributed, copied, plagiarised, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, printing, verbal conveyance, video conveyance, pdf conversion, photographing, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations, credited/cited appropriately, and embodied in academic papers, critical reviews, and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Thanks! Now, we can debate whether these sections were made by a knife, by a cutter, by a blunt instrument, or by twine but it is difficult to determine this from the carbonised loaves that have been excavated. Each one of these avenues of Pompeiian history tells us a great deal about daily provincial life in the Roman Republican and early Imperial periods. What fascinates me the most about Pompeii and the daily lives of its residents was its love of bread. There’s more Roman bread posts coming soon. This recipe was such fun to make. Hi, I just saw this video — is it possible they just cut the bread around, there was no string involved? She is the 2019 winner of the Best Special Interest Food Blog Award (Editor's Choice) by Saveur Magazine. But then why only section the top slab? You’ll notice that with each stretch-and-fold the dough becomes more elastic. What is that funny-looking, sectioned bread called anyways? But before we roll up our sleeves and tie the donkey to the quern-stone, let’s have a bit of history first, shall we? But I don’t know if the lateral groove connotes a size specification. There were loaves of elongated shape and round loaves, with incisions to facilitate cross for the division into four parts (quadrae, from which the panis quadratus). I’ll be using the expression “gives good bread” as soon as I get a chance. Two breads on this site really caught my attention and had me heading into the kitchen. If you enjoy history and archaeology — or the history of food — you may have come across images of large, round carbonized loaves, marked on top by lines that hint at the way to slice them: that’s what was known then as panis quadratus, or … – Farrell. I definitely think they would’ve had size restrictions as grain was heavily regulated. Separating the dough into two discs makes perfect sense, but when you say you docked the risen loaf, does this mean after the final proving directly before the loaf goes into the oven?

panis quadratus pompeii

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