Arculata: the bread that survived Pompeii


Preparation concerns

It is a yeast bread product. Begin by feeding your bread starter the day earlier than you begin the dough. If you do not have a starter, you possibly can create a sponge the identical day you make the dough by mixing 15g of flour (⅛ cup) with 30g of water (⅛ cup) and including 2g (½ tsp) of energetic dry yeast. Stir, let set and put aside till doubled in dimension and able to use within the dough.]


Step 1
Combine the water, honey and starter and blend gently.

Step 2
In a big mixing bowl, add the flour to the liquid and fold till it’s shaggy and begins to kind a cohesive mass.

Step 3
At this stage, begin sprinkling the salt into the dough as you knead and fold the dough. Mud with flour if the dough is sticky. When the salt has been step by step added and the dough has change into a extra cohesive mass, cool the dough within the bowl, cowl it with a moist towel and let it relaxation for 1 to 2 hours.

Step 4
After the dough has totally rested, knead, stretch and fold the dough for 10 minutes on a floured floor.

Step 5
As soon as kneaded, kind the dough right into a ball, cowl once more to rise till doubled in dimension. In case your kitchen is on the cooler aspect, place the dough in a heat space of ​​the kitchen close to the oven or a light-weight supply.

Step 6
Mud a clear work floor with flour and gently take away the dough from the blending bowl onto the work floor. The dough ought to be ethereal, gentle and versatile. If the dough remains to be heavy and agency, permit it to rise longer.

Step 7
Preheat your oven to 220C (425F).

Step 8
Gently flatten and roll out the dough on a floured work floor till it’s about 2½ cm (1 in) thick.

Step 9
Kind the dough into a protracted rectangle by folding the longest a part of the dough within the heart, then the alternative edge on the primary stretch of dough. Use a bench scraper or giant knife to chop 13 linear strips of dough. Utilizing a scale as you’re employed, attempt to guarantee that every strip of dough weighs near 85g. In case you should not have a scale or scraper, this course of can be completed with the mouth of a cup or a round cutter that’s about 7 cm (2¾in) in diameter.

Step 10
Take every strip of dough and gently roll it right into a tube with the palm of your palms. Use a bit flour in your palms if the dough is sticky. Take the ends of the tube and cross them over one another, as if tying a knot. Press the seam collectively and gently kind the form into an evenly proportioned ring. If you’re utilizing a cup or a cutter, merely press a gap within the heart of the disk together with your finger and develop the outlet together with your fingers till it’s about 3 cm (1in) in diameter.

Step 11
Place the fashioned rings in a bowl of flour and mud flippantly with a coating of flour, shake off the surplus flour, and gently place them on a baking sheet an inch or so aside.

Non-obligatory: Chances are you’ll wish to gown the rings with sesame seeds, like Greek coulouria and the Center East ca’ak are, or with Nigella seeds like Turkish simit i’m. If that’s the case, flippantly glaze the dough rings (utilizing the glaze recipe above) after forming the rings and gently flip them right into a bowl containing the seeds in order that the highest and backside are coated. Don’t mud the rings with flour should you gown them with sesame or Nigella.

Step 12
Bake the rings for 20 to 25 minutes or till the crust of the rolls start to brown.

Tasting and pairing:
To serve, put 12 arculata on a plate or on a single portion subsequent to some dried figs, plums and chestnuts. It’s a meal – or maybe an providing – left behind by a Pompeii resident in a store on the Through degli Augustali in the course of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE.

Lastly, set the 13 roll apart as an providing to Hera or Demeter, the virgins Vesta or Mary, the grandmothers of Greece and Italy, or the bakers and avenue distributors of the previous and current.

(Farrell Monaco is a classical archaeologist, baker and author. He’s at present an Honorary Customer within the College of Archeology and Historical Historical past on the College of Leicester. He’s the 2019 winner of the Finest Particular Curiosity Meals Weblog Award from Saveur Journal and creator of the upcoming e-book: Panis: The Story of Bread in Historical Rome.) Desk of the world “smashes the kitchen ceiling” altering the way in which the world thinks about meals, by means of the previous, current and future.

Be a part of over three million BBC Journey followers Fbor observe us Twitter and Instagram.

In case you like this story, signal as much as’s weekly options e-newsletter referred to as “The Important Checklist”. A curated choice of tales from BBC Future, Tradition, Worklife and Journey, delivered to your inbox each Friday.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here