Unleavened Bread

Exodus 12:1-30 The first Passover

Unleavened Bread

Unleavened bread - not Kosher, but as close as I could come to how I think the Israelites might have made it the night of the first passover.

I am getting ready for Bible school. The lesson for the first day is about the first Passover and includes making fake unleavened bread with some homemade play dough. Since my husband and I enjoy not only making bread, but grinding our own grain, I have decided to give real unleavened bread a try. I found a recipe online and am making some modifications, which in my opinion make it more authentic. I believe their “simple recipe” makes the dough more like our modern biscuits only without baking soda or powder.

Actually, I’m looking for the middle ground between their simplified recipe and their most strict Jewish recipe. I can’t imagine the people following all the strict procedures of the Jewish Kosher codes that are now taught. The idea in making unleavened bread was two-fold as I see it. First, it was to be able to make it very quickly. To follow the strict Kosher standards would not have been quick. Actually, those standards did not exist at the time of the first Passover.

The second reason for unleavened bread was to get rid of the old yeast. Not only were they to make the bread without yeast, they were not to bring any old yeast with them when they left Egypt.  I can relate. I used to make the potato flake sourdough bread until I got tired of it and became slack in maintaining my starter. I soon found out what bad yeast was like. It made huge holes in the bread and wouldn’t raise properly. I was no longer able to make sourdough bread even after I poured out all my starter, thoroughly cleaned and scalded my utensils, and got new starter from a friend. It is nearly impossible to get rid of bad yeast. My only alternative was to return to using store bought yeast in all my bread recipes.

Unleavened bread

Second recipe for unleavened bread is much better.

(Revision time: I tried approaching the bread-making like a loaf instead of like biscuits as I had in the first try and am much happier with it. I used more liquid and added the flour last instead of the water. I also used 1/2 whole grain flour I ground myself and 1/2 store-bought bread flour. I made this recipe for use in communion for Bible school which is why I cut it into one-inch squares.)

Unleavened Bread (Revision – preferred by my husband and me)

1 cup cold water
1 egg or 2 egg yolks
1/2 cup honey (2 tablespoons)
3 Tablespoons butter (2 1/4 tsp)
2 Tablespoons oil (1 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (3/8 tsp.)
approximately 5 cups whole wheat flour (1 c.) (We will grind our own)

Place all ingredients except the flour in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly. Add three cups of flour and mix well with mixer. If you have a dough hook, attach it in place of the standard beaters and continue adding flour. If you don’t have a dough hook, stir in the remaining flour, a little at a time, with a wooden spoon. You have added enough flour when the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and follows the spoon or the dough hook. Then knead the bread until it becomes elastic.

Oil your hands and two large baking sheets. Shape the dough into two balls and put one on each baking sheet. Flatten each ball out with your hands, followed by an oiled rolling pin until it is 1/4 inch thick.

Using a pizza cutter or a long sharp knife, make cuts across the dough in both directions making 1 inch squares. Then take an oiled toothpick and poke one or two holes in each square.

Bake at 400 degrees F until edges begin to turn brown. The type of baking sheet influences baking time considerably, so watch it closely. It takes about 9-12 minutes or longer on a baking stone that isn’t pre-heated.

Unleavened Bread – Simple Recipe (1/4 recipe in parenthesis)

4 cups whole wheat flour (1 c.) (We will grind our own)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (3/8 tsp.)
3 Tablespoons butter (2 1/4 tsp)
2 Tablespoons oil (1 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup honey (2 tablespoons)
up to 1/2 cup cold water a few drops at a time (2 tablespoons)

Mix the flour and salt in wide bottomed bowl. Cut in butter, then add oil and honey. Mix very well until ingredients are evenly distributed – will be crumbly. Add water a little at a time, and only enough to form a dough. Knead dough well in bowl. (I used the wide bowl my husband’s grandmother used to make biscuits in.) Pull enough dough to make a plum-sized ball in the palm of your hand. Knead dough several times and then use a rolling pin on a lightly oiled cutting board to roll it out to look like a large cookie 1/4″ thick. Pierce it with a fork all over each piece. Bake in a hot oven, 400 degrees F about 8-11 minutes until edges brown lightly.

Unleavened Bread before baking

Here is how it looked before going into the oven.

The bread is delicious to me – a person who loves whole grain bread. It looks and tastes like cookies but not as sweet.

I encourage my readers to read the article I found on how Kosher unleavened bread is made and the reasons behind the things they do.

Here are three more recipes I found: http://www.best-bread-recipes.com/recipe-unleavened-bread.html

And here is another web page chock full of unleavened bread recipes: http://www.intercontinentalcog.org/unleavenedbread_index.php

 

The Creation, a Bible storybook for children by Janice D. Green


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