CNN and Science Friday Feature Allegheny College Professor’s Book on History of Sourdough Bread Making

Sourdough Culture: A History of Bread Making from Ancient to Modern BakersThe 6,000-year history of sourdough bread is anything but stale.

The release of Sourdough Culture: A History of Bread Making from Ancient to Modern Bakers, a new book by Allegheny College Professor Eric Pallant, has garnered coverage from CNN, public radio show Science Friday, and other media outlets.

Pallant is a serious amateur baker, a two-time Fulbright Scholar, award-winning professor, and the Christine Scott Nelson Endowed Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability at Allegheny College. Sourdough Culture presents the history and rudimentary science of sourdough bread baking from its discovery more than 6,000 years ago to its still-recent displacement by the innovation of dough-mixing machines and fast-acting yeast.

In the book, Pallant traces the tradition of sourdough across continents, from its origins in the Middle East’s Fertile Crescent to Europe and then around the world. He also explains how sourdough fed some of history’s most significant figures, such as Plato, Pliny the Elder, Louis Pasteur, Marie Antoinette, Martin Luther, and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, and introduces the lesser-known—but equally important—individuals who relied on sourdough bread for sustenance: ancient Roman bakers, medieval housewives, Gold Rush miners, and the many, many others who have produced daily sourdough bread in anonymity.

Each chapter of Sourdough Culture is accompanied by a selection from Pallant’s own favorite recipes, which span millennia and traverse continents, and highlight an array of approaches, traditions, and methods to sourdough bread baking.

Learn more about Professor Pallant’s new book

Science Friday: A Sourdough Saga, From Starter To Slice

CNN: This food has a 6,000-year-old history that shaped the basis of what we eat today

Pittsburgh City Paper: Sourdough Culture offers a tour of sourdough history and human connection from a Western Pa. author