National Geographic : 1995 Jan
uplicating Old Kingdom prodded the loaf. "It feels cookware was one done," he reported. Wearing thing; re-creating the heavy gloves, Wood ran a knife bread made in it was quite along the edges and shook the another. For help, Lehner pot upside down. For perhaps turned to Edward \\lood, a the first time in more than 4,000 retired pathologist living ona years a perfect loaf of emmer 640-acre Idaho ranch. fie raises bread popped from an Old not cattle but erotic sourdough Kingdom-style pot. Yeast cultures. Slices were cut and passed "Bread, especially ancient around. Wood declared it bread like the Egyptians made, sourdough bread the way it's ;. . ' has been an avocation of mine meant to taste. A worker corn for 50 ears," Wood says. pared it to aisla slraansi, a staple From Lehner's drawing of the Egyptians call bread of the sun. , ",. Giza bakery (diagram, facing Analysis at the National Food page, bottom), the team built a Processors Association in Wash replica. Local workers used :File ington, D. C., revealed that the clay to mortar Tura limestone loaves were nutritionally quite 31'1 into a lover-walled working sur face (far right). r J"r w ::r,s ' Gi' f" ' " .ss - r1,;; ,. !, .., Old Kingdom Egyptians made bread from emmer, a , "' K, twin-kerneled form of wheat that is very difficult to husk. ,We had the worst time find ing anyone who could supply.: ' ;: t. ' emmer,,' recalls Wood. tt Finally we found a California fellow who collects and grog s ancient grains.; Another problem: The team +, (( wanted to avoid store-bought r 1 yeaast. "The Old Kingdom Egyptians didn't know about Yeast-they thought bread rose miraculously, says Vkood. I'o collect free-fl eating native yeast spores and bacteria, Wood left an open container of wet flour on his Cairo hotel halconi. Vi ithin a week the pot was elf er Y Y IA : Finally it was baking day. ^ Dough was placed into the pot bottoms, then allowed to rise mo" ' while it hole for each pot was 134 r .+ dug into hot coals (right.). The pot tops were heated in an open fire, then lifted with sticks and Ri placed atop the bottom halves nestled in the coals. If all went well, the combined heat from.' coals and lid would create an .,;. "' oven environment. An hour and 40 minutes passed. Wood opened a pot and .34 National Geographic, January 199'