Meet My Sourdough Bread Baking Muse: Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder from Lapham’s Quarterly

Bread was central to the diet of ancient Romans; baked fresh daily, usually at home, it formed the basis of most meals. There were also commercial bakeries to provide daily bread for those not inclined to bake, and the professional bread bakers who worked them were influential and powerful. If someone “gave good bread,” or “bonum panem fert,” it meant this person was reliable and worthy of respect…