Update: A class is also being offered on June 26th and July 3rd: Click here for this class.
Did you know that ancient Romans made both leavened and unleavened breads? Did you know that Roman bakers created their own bread starters using a variety of different ingredients… including legumes? Did you know that some scholars believe that Romans arrived late to the bread-baking party?! As featured in this month’s issue of National Geographic, join award-winning culinary archaeologist, Farrell Monaco, for a sensory journey into the world of Roman breads and baking. This month, The Old School Kitchen presents an exclusive two-part class devoted to making bread starters and leavened breads in ancient Rome, on June 26th and July 4th! Read on!
Drawing from her research, work experience, and experimental archaeology projects, Farrell Monaco has designed an engaging, technical, and delicious two-part Zoom class focused on the ingredients and techniques involved in making leavened breads in ancient Rome, from start to finish. The two classes will take place a week apart, on Saturday June 26th and Saturday July 4th, and will explore specific literary references, archaeological sources, art, food processing, cooking technologies, and key ingredients involved in Rome’s most important food production industry: the commercial bakery.
In week one, following a brief introductory lecture, Farrell and the class participants will prepare two starters from scratch. Step by step, all students will be led through the process and will be consulted on how to ‘grow’ the starters during the week following the first class. PDF hand-outs and shopping lists will be provided ahead of time.
In week two, following a brief introductory lecture, Farrell and the class participants will then use the two newly grown starters to bake two distinct and unusual Roman leavened loaves from scratch. Step by step, all participants will be led through the preparation and baking process and will be taught about various bread forms and their origins in Graeco-Roman history. PDF hand-outs and shopping lists will be provided ahead of time.
If you’d care to join us, click the BUY NOW below to register. Class sizes will be small to enable conversation, questions, conviviality and discussion throughout the sessions. Audio will not be muted during the classes so no cursing or Norwegian death metal playing in the background, please! All participants will receive a complimentary linen bread bag custom-made for Tavola Mediterranea by My Bukuro. Let’s cook it old school!
The Old School Kitchen: For Leaven’s Sake
Date and Times:
June 26th at 12 noon, PDT (UTC/GMT -8 hours). Class duration is approximately 1.5 hours.
July 4th at 12 noon, PDT (UTC/GMT -8 hours). Class duration is approximately 1.5 hours.
Each registration fee is per device. You can join the class alone or you can get friends and family involved as well, using the same device… and the fee remains the same. One bread bag per device. All times are PST and currency is USD. Zoom workshop meeting and password information will be sent via email to participants ahead of the class.
“Everyone really enjoyed themselves, and the taralli were a BIG hit! Thank you again for helping me make the past come alive in such an exciting and interactive way for my students. It was truly a great treat for our minds and our tastebuds!“K. Heuer, SUNY, June 9, 2021
“At the Saturday class, Monaco kept up a steady stream of informative commentary as students formed their second batch of dough into some 80 or so taralli, small bread rings that are still made today much as they were in the ancient world (although they are no longer treated as offerings to the gods). Later, once the panis quadratus dough had had a chance to rise, Monaco walked them through forming the round loaf, which involved tying it with twine and using a tool such as the back of a knife or a dowel to demarcate eight wedges. The finished product looked and tasted authentic—very plausibly like a food consumed in ancient times.“C. Favreau, Rivers School, November 19, 2020
“That was actually the best zoom event I have seen on any subject, and I have been watching a fair number of them lately. You are an excellent presenter.“R. Foss, June 7, 2020
“Thank you for a very enjoyable lecture and inspiration to make bread! I have not baked bread for years. This was the easiest and best bread I’ve had in a long time!”J. Pomeroy, June 7, 2020
“Thank you so much for the great workshop! It was so much fun and so interesting. I enjoyed being part of an international class and learning so much about the foodways of ancient Rome. I will watch for the locations of future classes that might be near me, when it is safe to travel again. I look forward to more of your classes and would love to join you in Tuscany once this pandemic is under control!“T. Turner, June 7, 2020
“Thank you so much for doing this workshop. I thought it was really interesting and informative. And I got a loaf of bread at the end! I hope you’re able to do more.“D. Alsmeyer, June 7, 2020
“It was such a great presentation- I know so little about Roman history and archaeology, I learned so much! And my bread didn’t turn out too poorly for a first attempt! I can’t wait to really dig into all the content you already have up. And I’m looking forward to more of your work. It’s so great to see someone using archaeology in such a fun and interactive way! And it was so nice to see not only how many people attended your presentation, but how much each person learned.”S. Madden, June 7, 2020
“I loved your presentation and am very interested in your work. Someday, when Covid-19 is behind us, I’d love to attend a workshop of yours in Italy.“L. McManus, June 7, 2020