Welcome to the discussion thread for the story, How the Man Who Invented Xbox Baked a 4,500-Year-Old Egyptian Sourdough. You can share your comments and thoughts about the story in the conversation below.
This was done in 1995 by Dr. Ed Wood and a team from National Geographic. See the book Classic Sourdough by Dr. Wood for more info, as well as checking the 1995 index of NatGeo issues. You can even buy the culture they harvested in Giza from the Sourdoughs International website. I’m a little disappointed in your research skills on this one.
It’s a great article, but I am now very confused. Can you please point me to a source which explains how yeast survive such high heat? I thought they were delicate in the face of fire. Which ones survive? Which ones die?
I had some sourdough starter that was started in New England about 1880. It needed to be “fed” every week. I used all but enough to remain for the next batch. In response to Lachlan, you don’t use all of the “starter” or yeast to make the bread. Some is saved out and fed for the next batch.
I used to make 4 loves each week. In place of sugar I used honey which acted as preservative. Although, the loves rarely lasted a whole week. My sons devoured the first loaf which came out of the oven as they got home from school.
I haven’t made bread in 15-20 years. Would love to try the Egyptian bread.
Is it possible to get starter now, 2020?
Looks as if they’re currently out of stock, but both the Giza culture and a Red Sea culture are on their list at https://sourdo.com/cultures/
Now, if you could just brew the beer and bake the bread…
I went to college in S.F. way back when. Sourdough and beer represented two of the basic food groups. I was fascinated by the methodology and persistence of these individuals.
Keep it up.
did he eat it tho
A friend who was a national geographic photographer and editor liked to tell me about his trip to Egypt to do a story there in the 1970s or 1980s. While he was in Cairo, his local contact mixed up some flour, water and dates, setting it on the windowsill over looking the desert and the pyramids at Giza. The wind from desert blew some dust, but mostly it just sat there warming in the sunlight. In a day or two the mixture had begun to bubble. They mixed it up with some more wheat flour, water and salt, baking some fine sourdough bread. I wonder if the egyptologists would find this sourdough any more authentic than blakely’s