This is Episode One of Modernist BreadCrumbs: "Pre-ferment," on the history of bread.

Modernist BreadCrumbs is a special collaborative podcast series with Heritage Radio Network and Modernist Cuisine, that takes a fresh look at one of the oldest staples of the human diet—bread. Although it may seem simple, bread is much more complex than you think.

From the microbes that power fermentation to the economics of growing grain, there’s a story behind every loaf. Each episode will reveal those stories and more, beginning with bread’s surprising and often complicated past, from the perspective of people who are passionate about bread, and shaping its future.

In this episode, we take a look at ancient drawings on cave walls, dig through the ashes of a volcano eruption, and consider the primal evolution of bread as we know it. We hope you'll loaf it.