Meet The Scientist Who Bakes Bread With 4,500-Year-Old Yeast
There are many controversial issues that divide society. But bread is not one of those issues. In fact, bread is one of the few things that brings people together. Part of the reason is that it comes in so many different shapes, flavors, and varieties, that there’s bound to be something for everyone – yes, even the gluten-intolerant among us. From pumpernickel and rye to sourdough and brioche, the doughy options are truly unlimited.
Perhaps one scientist loves bread just a little more than the rest of us. Meet Seamus Blackley, a scientist who loves to experiment with everyone’s favorite carb. His most infamous recent experiment involved baking bread with 4,500-year-old yeast. And apparently, it was absolutely delicious.
As Blackley posted on Twitter, he worked with a pair of scientists (an Egyptologist and a microbiologist) to collect yeast from old Egyptian pottery – 4,500-year-old pottery, to be precise. They suspected that certain containers were used for bread-making and beer brewing in ancient times, and took samples from these containers. Blackley kept a small sample of the ancient yeast, and mixed it with milled barley and Einkorn flour to “wake it up”. After all, it was out of action for a very long time. After a week, he began baking. And it was most definitely a success.
Blackley has since baked other yeast-based delicacies, which he posts on his Twitter account. Interestingly, he is actually famous for something totally different – he developed the Xbox. Talk about a Renaissance man!