Take a egyptologist, add a microbiologist and the founder of the Xbox. Using pottery old kept in two museums in the united states, this team has found a yeast similar to those used in ancient Egypt. Using grain as close as possible to that which existed at the time, Seamus Blackley has managed to bake bread worthy of the pharaohs.
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What a game designer well known in the entertainment industry, in particular to have been the origin of the Xbox, the first game console from Microsoft in 2001, has a passion rather unusual. He created the Twitter page of the Club yeasts old (Ancient Yeast Club), who likes to “make bread, beer, and other things according to age-old techniques, ingredients and old”. It is thanks to the social network that Seamus Blackley came into contact with Richard Bowman, a biologist at the university of Iowa and Serena Love, archéologiste and egyptologist at the university of Queensland in Australia.
Using a nondestructive process and careful, sterile technique, we believe we can actually capture dormant yeasts and bacteria from inside the ceramic pores of ancient pots. We sampled beer – and bread-making objects which had actually been in regular use in the Old Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/9FahMRjJBU
— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) August 5, 2019
With the help of sterilizers UV, tools and ovens, scientists have captured the yeast and bacteria dormant in the pores of the pots in ceramics from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Peabody Essex Museum in Harvard. Thanks to the flour sterilized and freshly-ground, agencies have been able to be woken and fed, and reproduce.
The same ingredients that there are 4,500 years old
“Although this sample contains surely contaminants” modern, “it also contains probably true strains of yeast old,” writes Seamus Blackley on Twitter. “We will continue to build our library of samples in the year to come,” he continued. These bakers archaeologists can then differentiate the microorganisms on the ancient to the modern.
once the yeast is collected, Seamus Blackley had fed them water and olive oil non-filtered, in order to make a paste with the ingredients used there are 4,500 years old. “The aroma of this yeast resembles nothing of what I have experienced,” he wrote on Twitter. After two weeks of rest, the sample is ready, and can be mixed with water and flour made of barley old one, which already existed, according to them, among the bakers of ancient Egypt.
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For the cooking, Blackey was resigned to use modern methods. In the meantime you can experience the ancient methods with the help of Serena Love, he stuffs his dough in an oven all this that there are more contemporary.
A crumb is “light and airy”
out of the oven, the excitement of “geek of the bread” is overflowing. “The crumb is very light and airy for a bread grain 100% old. I’m excited.”, he writes. “It is incredibly exciting, I am amazed that this has market.”
a Few days later, Seamus Blackley made two other breads with the same yeast and grain. “This is the last that we show before returning to the laboratory, and before we start to use techniques in cooking of ancient Egypt”, he says. This experience will have made at least one happy. “My wife is in the process of decimating the bread egyptian,” says Seamus Blackley on the social network.