Monday, September 19, 2016

History of leavened bread

Unleavened bread was the primitive food of man, in the early stages of civilization and before he learned to leaven it. It was adopted by the Jews on their departure across the desert from Goshen, as the simplest mode of preparing bread in the wilderness; and has ever been the daily food of the Arabian nomad.

In the ancient Near East leaven was known from the third millennium BC onwards. Egyptians discovered that a mixture of flour and water left for about of time to ferment, increased in volume, and, after baking along with other fresh dough, it produced soft and light breads.

In Greece, bread was a food solely for consumption on wealthy homes. The Greeks used leavening for sourdough was adopted from Egypt about 800 BC. The Roman derived it from the Greeks, and until about 200 BC, when bakers were first established in Rome, the term ‘pulse eating nation’ was applied to the Romans by way of reproach.

The first time that leaven in its negative form, occurs in the Bible is in Genesis 19:3 where that Lot ‘did baked unleavened bread’ for the angels and ‘they did eat’, which shows most plainly that leaven, a common commodity , was the appropriate food doomed, wicked Sodom.

Leaven was forbidden to the Hebrews during the seven days of the Passover, in memory of their ancestor who when they went out of Egypt, were obliged to carry unleavened meal with them and to make bread in haste.
History of leavened bread