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Ancient Egyptian Yeast Used to Bake Bread

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Egypt Bread

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS—According to a BBC News report, an avocational Egyptologist and baking enthusiast has successfully baked a loaf of bread using yeast from ancient Egyptian ceramics. Seamus Blackley and his collaborators, archaeologist Serena Love and microbiologist Richard Bowman, managed to non-invasively extract dormant yeast from the pores of Egyptian beer- and bread-making vessels held in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Harvard University's Peabody Museum. Next steps involved identifying the strains of yeast and feeding them nutrients in order to revive them. Finally, using water and ancient grains he had milled himself from barley and einkorn, Blackley was able to cultivate a starter and bake a bread he believes may be close to that enjoyed by ancient Egyptians over 5,000 years ago. To read more about the experimental archaeology of baking, brewing, and distilling, go to "Recreating Nordic Grog." 

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