Leaven

Recently, curiosity drove me to find out about making a ‘starter dough’.

leavening

Why?

Because, when I was much younger and read the story of the Exodus, it puzzled me where the people obtained ‘yeast’ after the Days of Unleavened Bread were over.

Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. Exodus 13: 7

Old-fashioned bread making

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So, to a young Scots person, whose family purchased lovely, (old-fashioned) bread from the bakery, this was a complete mystery.

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If they had no yeast – or leaven, when they left Egypt, how could they get it again? There were no bakeries in the wilderness.

It was one of those puzzles that I put ‘on the back-burner’… and in this case forgot about. Occasionally, over the years, I would hear something about it in a sermon, but basically remained mystified.

Recently, it came to mind again – perhaps because of the time of year. So, I went searching.

The number of results on an internet search surprised me. I learned that there is something called ‘wild yeast’, and that it lives everywhere.wild yeast

In the time of the Israelites leaving Egypt, just as there were no local bakeries, there was no commercially produced yeast. Logical, but I had never thought of it before. From what I read, bread made with ‘wild yeast’ is vastly superior to bread made with commercial yeast.

Wow… surely that must be complicated!

No, not really…

To make a batch of leavened bread all I would need is some flour, water, and time. I discovered that if I mix together ordinary flour (unleavened) and water, after a few days bubbles will start to form. The next bit is what I found interesting. It has to be ‘fed’ with more flour and water over several days.

Do you know what this made me think of?

Sin.

Like the ‘wild yeast’, sin is all around us.

What would happen if we didn’t feed it? What if we prayed about it instead?

sinsSin comes in many forms… simple examples could be gossip (that certainly is easily fed), petty theft – taking pens or notebooks from work – a common practice in some parts of the world. Then there are the various ‘lust’ sins… I could go on, but all of us can ‘fill in the blanks’.

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Food for thought, but not for leaven,

Susan

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2 thoughts on “Leaven

  1. Patty B

    We had a conversation about this in bible study fellowship a few weeks ago. Comparing yeast to sin is indeed an eye opener. Thanks for the post. Can you post the directions for the starter bread…such is it really as simple as all adding flour and water and for how many days do we “feed” it?

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  2. Hold the Faith

    Hi Patty,
    I have never made it… but found several sites with step by step instructions. Here is one
    http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-sourdough-starter-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-47337
    As for how many days… it is like all cooking recipes (that used to annoy me as a beginner) that don’t tell specifics. But here is a bit from the end…
    To keep the yeast happy, we feed the starter with fresh flour and water over the next several days, until the starter is bubbly and billowy. Once it reaches that frothy, billowy stage, the starter is ready to be used.(And there are pictures.)
    There are many sites. If you want to explore them ‘Google’ – starter dough recipe
    All the best in your search.
    The likeness to sin is clear. Can see why Jesus talked about the leaven of the Pharisees.

    Like

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