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The staff of Life, the word of God, the body of Christ, a sign of hospitality, food for angels, a part of the Christian’s daily prayer—all these things and more has bread been to mankind over the centuries.

From Genesis to II Thessalonians bread is mentioned so often in the Bible that its references fill more than a page of small type in a concordance. The very name Bethlehem means “house of bread.”

Far earlier than any written record we know man made bread. The evidence is unmistakable. Man in the late Stone Age used a stone hand mill to grind his grain. It is called a quern. They have been found by archaeologists throughout Egypt, southwest Asia and eastern Europe as well as other parts of the world. At Jericho before the year 6,000 B.C. querns were used to grind flour. They were among the earliest items of household equipment in man’s first villages.

The original bread was probably unleavened. Some coarse flour mixed with water, or even milk, was very likely dropped by accident on hot stones or into smouldering coals. With the first bite man had found bread. However, experts believe that man parched his grain before he learned to make bread from it. Primitive grains are tightly enclosed in a tough husk. Heating makes these easy to rub off and permits the kernel to be chewed.

It is surmised that the second stage was to grind the parched grains and soak the meal in water to make gruel. Such a mixture allowed to stand for a day or two in a warm place could acquire yeast quite naturally from the air or elsewhere, for yeasts are found almost anywhere including man’s skin. So, it could have been about the same time that man first ate both unleavened and leavened bread.

At Sakkara, in an Egyptian tomb, bread has been found that is approximately 5,000 years old. It consists of small triangular loaves made from emmer wheat—a type still used in some cereals today. Another Egyptian tomb at Thebes, dated 3,500 years ago, yielded similarly shaped loaves of bread. They are made of coarse barley flour with the busks still present. The bread is dry and hard but not petrified and is now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Many kinds of bread were developed. The Bible speaks of oiled bread (Lev. 8:26), barley bread (Judges 7:13), and bread made from a mixture of grains (Ezekiel 4:9). Bread has been literally sacred to most of the people of the Near East. This is why they break instead of cutting it. They feel that to cut bread is akin to cutting life itself. “Breaking” of bread is universal in the Scriptures.

Of course, baking was done in homes from the beginning even as it is today. Yet professional bakers were also an early development. In Genesis 40: 1 6 reference is made to the Pharaoh’s “chief baker.” Jeremiah 37:21 leaves no doubt that public bakeries were part of the ancient scene. The ruins of Pompeii (destroyed first century A.D.) contain public bakeries where milling and baking operations were combined.

The first home-made bread mentioned in the Scriptures is in Genesis 18:6 when Abraham was visited by angels. “And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.” We urge you to join Sarah occasionally by baking bread for your family or visitors.

Here is a basic bread recipe that is very likely thousands of years old. You’ll note that it contains no shortening as most breads do. When baked it makes a firm bread still white with a light powdering of flour on it much like English muffins. Be sure to serve it hot out of the oven. It’s genuinely delicious.


I oz. fresh yeast cake

1 tbs. honey

1 ¼ cups tepid water

1 tsp. salt

3 ½ cups flour


Dissolve yeast and honey in the tepid water. Sift in the flour and salt. Mix well and knead on a lightly floured board. Cut dough into eight pieces and shape into rounds. Roll, or flatten with your hands, until about 5 inches across and ¼ inch thick. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Cover with clean towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour or two. Let them rise to a thickness of ½ to ¾ inch. Then bake in hot oven (500 degrees) for 7 or 8 minutes.


(le'chem; artos.), a word of far more extensive meaning among the Hebrews than at present with us. There are passages in which it appears to be applied to all kinds of victuals (Luke 11:3); but it more generally denotes all kinds of baked and pastry articles of food. It is also used, however, in the more limited sense of bread made from wheat or barley, for rye is little cultivated in the East. The preparation of bread as an article of food dates from a very early period: it must not, however, be inferred from the use of the word lechem in Gen 3:19 (" bread," A. V.) that it was known at the time of the fall, the word there occurring in its general sense of food: the earliest undoubted instance of its use is found in Gen 18:6.

1. Materials. -- The corn or grain (rb#v@, she'ber, /n*D*, dagan') employed was of various sorts: the best bread was made of wheat, which, after being ground, produced the "flour" or "meal" (jm^q#, ke'mach; a&leuron; Judg 6:19; 1 Sam 1:24; 1 Kings 4:22; 17:12,14), and when sifted the "fine flour" (tl#s), so'leth, more fully <yF!j! tl#s), Ex 29:2; or tl#s) jm^q#, Gen 18:6; semi/dali$) usually employed in the sacred offerings (Ex 29:40; Lev 2:1; Ezek 46:14), and in the meals of the wealthy (1 Kings 4:22; 2 Kings 7:1; Ezek 16:13,19; Rev 18:13). "Barley" was used only by the very poor (John 6:9,18), or in times of scarcity (Ruth 3:15, compared with 1:1; 2 Kings 4:38,42; Rev 6:6; Joseph. War, v, 10, 2): as it was the food of horses (1 Kings 4:28), it was considered a symbol of what was mean and insignificant (Judg 7:13; comp. Joseph. Ant. v, 6, 4, ma/zan kriqi/nhn, u(p) eu)telei/a$ a)nqrw/poi$ a&brwton; Liv. 27:13). as well as of what was of a mere animal character, and hence ordered for the offering of jealousy (Numbers v, 15;' comp. Hos 3:2; Philo, ii, 307). "Spelt" (tm#S#K%, kusse'meth; o&lura, ze/a; V. rye, fitches, spelt) was also used both in Egypt (Ex 9:32) and Palestine (Isa 28:25; Ezek 4:9; 1 Kings 19:6; Sept. e)lkrufi/a$ o)luri/th$): Herodotus I indeed states (ii. 36) that in the former country bread was made exclusively of olyra, which, as in the Sept., he identifies with zea; but in this he was mistaken, as wheat was also used (Ex 9:32; comp. Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. ii, 397). Occasionally the grains above mentioned were mixed, and other ingredients, such as beans, lentils, and millet, were added (Ezek 4:9; comp. 2 Sam 17:28); the bread so produced is called "barley cakes" (Ezek 4:12; A. V. "as barley cakes"), inasmuch as barley was the main ingredient. The amount of meal required for a single baking was an ephah or three measures (Gen 18:6; Judg 6:19; 1 Sam 1:24; Matt 13:33), which appears to have been suited to the size of the ordinary oven. Grain is ground daily in the East. See MILL.

2. Preparation. -- After the wheaten flour is taken from the hand-mill, it is made into a dough or paste in a small wooden trough. See KNEADING-TROUGH. The process of making bread was as follows: the flour was first mixed with water, or perhaps milk (Burckhardt's Notes on the Bedouins, i, 58); it was then kneaded (vWl) with the hands (in Egypt with the feet also; Herod. ii, 36; Wilkinson, ii, 386) in a small wooden bowl or "kneading-trough" (tr#a#v=m!, mishe'reth, a term which may, however, rather refer to the leathern bag in which the Bedouins carry their provisions, and which serves both as a wallet and a table; Niebuhr's Voyage, i, 171; Harmer, 4:366 sq.; the Sept. inclines to this view, giving e)gkatalei/mmata [A. V. "store"] in Deut 28:5,17; the expression in Ex 12:34, however, "bound up in their clothes," favors the idea of a wooden bowl), until it became dough (qx@B*, batsek'; stai=$, Ex 12:34,39; 2 Sam 13:8; Jer 6:18; Hos 7:4; the term "dough" is improperly given in the A. V. for tosyr!u& , grits, in Num 15:20,21; Neh 10:37; Ezek 44:30). When the kneading was completed, leaven (ra)c=, seor'; zu/mh) was generally added; but when the time for preparation was short, it was omitted, and unleavened cakes, hastily baked, were eaten, as is still the prevalent custom among the Bedouins (Gen 18:6; 19:3; Ex 12:39; Judg 6:19; 1 Sam 28:24). See LEAVEN. Such cakes were termed toXm^, matstsoth' (Sept. a&zuma), a word of doubtful sense, variously supposed to convey the ideas of thinness (Fiirst, Lex. s. v.), sweetness (Gesen. Thesaur. p. 815), or purity (Knobel, Comm. in Ex 12:20), while leavened bread was called Jm@j*, chamets' (lit. sharpened or soured; Ex 12:39; Hos 7:4). Unleavened cakes were ordered to be eaten at the Passover to commemorate the hastiness of the departure (Ex 12:15; 13:3,7; Deut 16:3), as well as on other sacred occasions (Lev 2:11; 6:16; Num 6:15). The leavened mass was allowed to stand for some time (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:21), sometimes for a whole night ("their baker sleepeth all the night," Hos 7:6), exposed to a moderate heat in order to forward the fermentation (" he ceaseth from stirring" [ryu!m@ A. V. "raising"] the fire " until it be leavened," Hos 7:4). The dough was then divided into round cakes (<j#l# torK=K!, lit. circles of bread; a&rtoi; A. V. "loaves;" Ex 29:23; Judg 8:5; 1 Sam 10:3; Prov 6:26; in Judg 7:13, i, lWlx=, , magi/$), not unlike flat stones in shape and appearance (Matt 7:9; comp. 4:3), about a span in diameter and a finger's breadth in thickness (comp. Lane's Modern Egyptians, i, 164): three of these were required for the meal of a single person (Luke 11:5), and consequently one was barely sufficient to sustain life (1 Sam 2:36, A. V. "morsel;" Jer 37:21, A. V. "piece"), whence the expression Jj^l^ <j#l#, "bread of affliction" (1 Kings 22:27; Isa 30:20), referring not to the quality (pane plebeio, Grotius), but to the quantity; two hundred would suffice for a party for a reasonable time (1 Sam 25:18; 2 Sam 16:1). The cakes were sometimes punctured, and hence called hL*j^ chalah' (kolluri/$; Ex 29:2,23; Lev 2:4; 8:26; 24:5; Num 15:20; 2 Sam 6:19), and mixed with oil. Similar cakes, sprinkled with seeds, were made in Egypt (Wilkinson, ii, 386). Sometimes they were rolled out into wafers (qyq!r*, rakik'; la/ganon; Ex 29:2,23; Lev 2:4; Num 6:15-19), and merely coated with oil. Oil was occasionally added to the ordinary cake (1 Kings 17:12). A more delicate kind of cake is described in 2 Sam 13:6,8,10; the dough (A. V. "flour") is kneaded a second time, and probably fried in fat, as seems to be implied in the name tobyb!l=, lebiboth', q. d. dough-nuts (from bb^l*, to befaet, kindred with bb*l@, heart; compare our expression hearty food; Sept. kolluri/de$; Vulg. sorbitiunculce). (See below.)

3. Baking. -- The cakes were now taken to the oven; having been first, according to the practice in Egypt, gathered into " white baskets" (Gen 40:16), yr!j) yL@s^, salley' chori', a doubtful expression, referred by some to the whiteness of the bread (Sept. kana= xondritw=n ; Aquil. ko)finoi gu/rew$; Vulg. canistra farina), by others, as in the A. V., to the whiteness of the baskets, and again, by connecting the word yr!j) with the idea of a hole, to an open-work basket (margin, A. V.), or, lastly, to bread baked in a hole. The baskets were placed on a tray and carried on the baker's head (Gen 40:16; Herod. ii, 35; Wilkinson, ii, 386). See BASKET.

The baking was done in primitive times by the mistress of the house (Gen 18:6) or one of the daughters (2 Sam 13:8); female servants were, however, employed in large households (1 Sam 8:13): it appears always to have been the proper business of women in a family (Jer 7:18; 44:19; Matt 13:33; comp. Plin. 18:11, 28). Baking, as a profession, was carried on by men (Hos 7:4,6). In Jerusalem the bakers congregated in one quarter of the town, as we may infer from the name "bakers' street" (Jer 37:21), and "tower of the ovens" (Neh 3:11; 12:38); A. V. "furnaces." In the time of the Herods, bakers were scattered throughout the towns of Palestine (Joseph. Ant. 15:9, 2). As the bread was made in thin cakes, which soon became dry and unpalatable, it was usual to bake daily, or when required (Gen 18:6; comp. Harmer's Observations, i, 483): reference is perhaps made to this in the Lord's prayer (Matt 6:11; Luke 11:3). The bread taken by persons on a journey (Gen 45:23; Josh 9:12) was probably a kind of biscuit. See BAKE.

The methods of baking (hp*a*, aphah') were, and still are, very various in the East, adapted to the various styles of life. In the towns, where professional bakers resided, there were no doubt fixed ovens, in shape and size resembling those in use among ourselves; but more usually each household possessed a portable oven (rWNt^, tannur'; kli/bano$), consisting of a stone or metal jar about three feet high, which was heated inwardly with wood (1 Kings 17:12; Isa 44:15; Jer 7:18) or dried grass and flower-stalks (xo/rto$, Matt 6:30); when the fire had burned down, the cakes were applied either inwardly (Herod. ii, 92) or outwardly: such ovens were used by the Egyptians (Wilkinson, ii, 385), and by the Easterns of Jeronme's time (Comment. in Lam. v, 10), and are still common among the Bedouins (Wellsted's Travels, i, 350; Niebuhr's Descript. de I'Arabie, p. 45, 46). The use of a single oven by several families only took place in time of famine (Lev 26:26). Another species of oven consisted of a hole dug in the ground, the sides of which were coated with clay and the bottom with pebbles (Harmer, i, 487). Jahn (Archaol. i, 9, § 140) thinks that this oven is referred to in the term <y!r^yk!, kira'yim (Lev 11:35); but the dual number is an objection to this view; the term yr!j) above (Gen 40:16) has also been referred to it. See OVEN.

Other modes of baking were specially adapted to the migratory habits of the pastoral Jews, as of the modern Bedouins; the cakes were either spread upon stones, which were previously heated by lighting a fire above them (Burckhardt's Notes, i, 58) or beneath them (Belzoni's Travels, p. 84); or they were thrown into the heated embers of the fire itself (Wellsted's Travels, i, 350; Niebuhr, Descript. p. 46); or, lastly, they were roasted by being placed between layers of dung, which burns slowly, and is therefore specially adapted for the purpose (Ezra 4:12,15; Burckhardt's Notes, i, 57; Niebuhr's Descript. p. 46). The terms by which such cakes were described were hG*u%, uggah' (Gen 18:6; Ex 12:39; 1 Kings 17:13; Ezra 4:12; Hos 7:8), goum*, (1 Kings 17:12; Ps 35:16), or more fully <yp!x*r= tG^u%., uggath' retsaphin' (1 Kings 19:6, lit. on the stones,' "coals," A. V ), the term hG*u% referring, however, not to the mode of baking, but to the rounded shape of the cake (Gesen. Thesaur. p. 997): the equivalent terms in the Sept. e)gkrufi/a$, and in the Vulg. subcizericius panis, have direct reference to the peculiar mode of baking. The cakes required to be carefully turned suring the process (Hos 7:8; Harmer, i, 488). Other methods were used for other kinds of bread; some were baked on a pan (tb^j&m^; th/ganon; sartago: the Greek term survives in the tajen of the Bedouins), the result being similar to the khubz still used among the latter people (Burckhardt's Notes, i, 58), or like the Greek tagh/niai, which were baked in oil, and eaten warm with honey (Athen. 14:55, p. 64 C); such cakes appeared to have been chiefly used as sacred offerings (Lev 2:5; 6:14; 7:9; 1 Chron 23:29). A similar cooking utensil was used by Tamar (2 Sam 13:9, tb^j&m^; th\ganon), in which she baked the cakes and then emptied them out in a heap (qx^y*, not " poured," as if it had been broth) before Ammon. A different kind of bread, probably resembling the ftita of the Bedouins, apasty substance (Burckhardt's Notes, i, 57), was prepared in a saucepan (tv#j#r=m^; e)sxa/ra; craticula; A. V. frying-pan; none of which meanings, however, correspond with the etymological sense of the word, which is connected with boiling); this was also reserved for sacred offerings (Lev 2:7; 7:9). As the above-mentioned kinds of bread (the last excepted) were thin and crisp, the mode of eating them was by breaking (Lev 2:6; Isa 58:7; Lam 4:4; Matt 14:19; 15:36; 26:26; Acts 20:11; comp. Xen. Anab. 7:3, § 22, a&rtou$ die/kla), whence the term sr^P*, to break = to give bread (Jer 16:7); the pieces broken for consumption were called kla/smata (Matt 14:20; John 6:12).. Old bread is described in Josh 9:5,12, as crumbled (<yd!Q%n! , nikkudim'; Aquil. e)yaqurwme/no$; infrusta comminuti; A. V. " mouldy," following the Sept. eu)rwtiw=n kai\ bebrwme/no$), a term which is also applied (1 Kings 14:3) to a kind of biscuit, which easily crumbled (kolluri/$; A. V. "cracknels"). See CAKE.

4. Figurative Uses of the term "Bread." -- As the Hebrews generally made their bread very thin, and in the form of little flat cakes (especially their unleavened bread), they did not cut it with a knife, but broke it, which gave rise to that expression so usual in Scripture of breaking bread, to signify eating, sitting down to table, taking a repast (Lam 4:4; Matt 14:19; 15:36). In the institution of the Lord's Supper our Saviour broke the bread; whence to break bread, and breaking of bread, in the New Testament, are used some, times for the celebration of the Eucharist (Matt 26:26), and also the celebration of the agape, or love-feast (Acts 2:46). (See below.)

"Cast thy bread upon the waters" (Eccl 11:1), may allude to the custom practised in some countries of sowing bread-corn or rice upon a soil well irrigated, or, as some think, against the rainy season; or, in a figurative sense, it may be an exhortation to disinterested liberality, with a promise of receiving its due recompense.

The figurative expressions "bread of sorrows" (Ps 127:2) and "bread of tears" (Ps 43:3) mean the portion of every day as one's daily bread. So the "bread of wickedness" (Prov 4:17) and "bread of deceit" (Prov 10:17) denote not only a living or estate obtained by fraud and sin, but that to do wickedly is as much the portion of a wicked man's life as to eat his daily bread. See DAILY BREAD; See LIFE (BREAD OF).

SHEW-BREAD is the rendering in the Auth. Vers. of the Heb. <yn!P* <j#l#, le'chem panmnta, the bread of the face, or of the presence, because it was set forth before the face or in the presence of Jehovah in his holy place. It is also called "the bread arranged in order" and "the perpetual bread," because it was never absent from the table (Lev 24:6,7; 1 Chron 23:29). In the outer apartment of the tabernacle. on the right hand, or north side, stood a table made of acacia (shittim) wood, two cubits long, one broad, and one and a half high, and covered with laminae of gold. The top of the leaf of this table was encircled by a border or rim of gold. The frame of the table immediately below the leaf was encircled with a piece of wood of about four inches in breadth, around the edge of which was a rim or border similar to that around the leaf. A little lower down, but at equal distances from the top of the table, there were four rings of gold fastened to the legs, through which staves covered with gold were inserted for the purpose of carrying it (Ex 25:23-28; 37:10-16). These rings were not found in the table which was afterward made for the Temple, nor indeed in any of the sacred furniture, where they had previously been, except in the ark of the covenant. Twelve unleavened loaves were placed upon this table, which were sprinkled with frankincense (the Sept. adds salt; Lev 24:7). The number twelve represents the twelve tribes, and was not diminished after the defection of ten of the tribes from the worship of God in his sanctuary, because the covenant with the sons of Abraham was not formally abrogated, and because there were still many true Israelites among the apostatising tribes. The twelve loaves were also a constant record against them, and served as a standing testimonial that their proper place was before the forsaken altar of Jehovah. The loaves were placed in two piles, one above another, and were changed every Sabbath day by the priests. The frankincense that had stood on the bread during the week was then burned as an oblation, and the removed bread became the property of the priests, who, as God's servants, had a right to eat of the bread that came from his table; but they were obliged to eat it in the holy place, and nowhere else. No others might lawfully eat of it; but, in a case of extreme emergency, the priest incurred no blame if he imparted it to persons who were in a state of ceremonial purity, as in the instance of David and his men (1 Sam 21:6; Matt 12:4).

Wine also was placed upon the "table of shewbread" in bowls, some larger and some smaller; also in vessels that were covered and in cups, which were probably employed in pouring in and taking out the wine from the other vessels, or in making libations. Gesenius calls them " patere libatoriae," and they appsar in the Authorized Version as " spoons" (see generally Ex 25:29,30; 37:10-16; 40:4,24; Lev 24:5-9; Num 4:7). See SHEW BREAD.

(from McClintock and Strong Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)



First undoubtedly mentioned in Gen 18:6. The best being made of wheat; the inferior of barley, used by the poor, and in scarcity (John 6:9,13; Rev 4:6; 2 Kings 4:38,42). An ephah or "three measures" was the amount of meal required for a single baking, answering to the size of the oven (Matt 13:33). The mistress of the house and even a king's daughter did not think baking beneath them (2 Sam 13:8). Besides there were public bakers (Hosea 7:4), and in Jerusalem a street tenanted by bakers (Jer 37:21); Nehemiah mentions "the tower of the furnaces," or ovens (Neh 3:11; 12:38). Their loaf was thinner in shape and crisper than ours, from whence comes the phrase, not cutting, but breaking bread (Matt 14:19; Acts 20:7,11). Ex 12:34 implies the small size of their kneading troughs, for they were "bound up in their clothes (the outer garment, a large square cloth) upon their shoulders." As bread was made in thin cakes it soon became dry, as the Gibeonites alleged as to their bread (Josh 9:12), and so fresh bread was usually baked every day, which usage gives point to "give us day by day our daily bread" (Luke 11:3). When the kneading was completed leaven was added; but when time was short unleavened cakes were hastily baked, as is the present Bedouin usage; termed in Ex 12:8-20 matzowt (OT:4682), i.e. pure loaves, having no leaven, which ferments the dough and so produces corruption, and is therefore symbol of mortal corruption (1 Cor 5:8); therefore excluded from the Passover, as also to commemorate the haste of Israel's departure. Leaven was similarly excluded from sacrifices (Lev 2:11).

The leavened dough was sometimes exposed to a moderate heat all night while the baker slept: Hos 7:4-6; "as an oven heated by the baker who ceaseth from raising (rather, heating) after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened; for they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait ... their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire." Their heart was like an oven first heated by Satan, then left to burn with the pent up fire of their corrupt passions. Like the baker sleeping at night, Satan rests secure that at the first opportunity the hidden fires will break forth, ready to execute whatever evil he suggests. The bread was divided into round cakes, or "loaves," three of which sufficed for one person's meal (Luke 11:5). "Bread of affliction" or "adversity" would be a quantity less than this (1 Kings 22:27; Isa 30:20). Oil was sometimes mixed with the flour. There were also cakes of finer flour, called "heart cakes" (as our "cordial" is derived from cor, "the heart"), a heart strengthening pastry (2 Sam 13:8-10 margin), a pancake, possibly with stimulant seeds in it, quickly made; such as Tamar prepared and shook out (not "poured" as a liquid) from the pan, for Amnon. The loaves used to be taken to the oven in a basket upon the head (Gen 40:16), which exactly accords with Egyptian usage, men carrying burdens on their heads, women on their shoulders. The variety of Egyptian confectionery is evident from the monuments still extant. The "white baskets" may mean "baskets of white bread." The oven of each house was a stone or metal jar, heated inwardly, often with dried "grass" (illustrating Matt 6:30). When the fire burned down the cakes were applied inwardly or outwardly. Cakes were sometimes baked on heated stones, or between layers of dung, the slow burning of which adapts it for baking (Ezek 4:15). They needed to be turned in baking, like Scotch oatcakes. Hos 7:8, "Ephraim is a cake not turned": burnt on one side, unbaked on the other, the fire spoiling, not penetrating it; so religious professors, outwardly warm, inwardly cold; on one side overdone, on the other not vitally influenced at all; Jehus professing great "zeal for the Lord," really zealous for themselves.

(from Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1998 by Biblesoft)



(bred) (lechem; artos):



            1. Barley

            2. Wheat

            3. Three Kinds of Flour


            1. Grinding

            2. Kneading

            3. Baking

                        (1) Hot Stones

                        (2) Baking Pans

            4. Ovens

                        (1) The Bowl-Oven

                        (2) The Jar-Oven

                        (3) The Pit-Oven

            5. Forms of Baked Bread

            6. Work for Women


            1. Sanctity

            2. Symbolism


The art of bread-making is very ancient. It was even known to the Egyptians at a very early day (Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians), to the Hebrews of the Exodus (Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebr. Archaologie) and, of course, to the Greeks and Romans of a later day. Bread played a large part in the vocabulary and in the life of the ancient Hebrews.

I. Dietary Pre-eminence. - (1) In the East bread is primary, other articles of food merely accessory; while in the West meat and other things chiefly constitute the meal, and bread is merely secondary. Accordingly "bread" in the Old Testament, from Gen 3:19 onward, stands for food in general. (2) Moreover in ancient times, as now, most probably, when the peasant, carpenter, blacksmith or mason left home for the day's work, or when the muleteer or messenger set out on a journey, he wrapped other articles of food, if there were any, in the thin loaves of bread, and thus kept them ready for his use as needed. (3) Often the thin, glutinous loaf, puffed out with air, is seen today, opened on one side and used so as to form a natural pouch, in which meat, cheese, raisins and olives are enclosed to be eaten with the bread (see Mackie in Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, article "Bread"). The loaf of bread is thus made to include everything and, for this reason also, it may fitly be spoken of as synonymous with food in general. To the disciples of Jesus, no doubt, "Give us this day our daily bread" would naturally be a petition for all needed food, and in the case of the miraculous feeding of the multitude it was enough to provide them with "bread" (Matt 14:15 ff).

II. Materials. - Barley was in early times, as it is today, the main bread-stuff of the Palestine peasantry (see Judges 7:13; where "the cake of barley bread" is said to be "the sword of Gideon"),

1. Barley: and of the poorer classes of the East in general (see John 6:13, where the multitude were fed on the miraculous increase of the "five barley loaves," and compare Josephus, BJ, V, x, 2).

2. Wheat: But wheat, also, was widely used as a breadstuff then, as it is now, the wheat of the Syrian plains and uplands being remarkable for its nutritious and keeping qualities.

3. Three Kinds of Flour: Three kinds, or qualities, of flour, are distinguished, according to the way of making: (1) a coarser sort, rudely made by the use of pestle and mortar, the "beaten corn" of Lev 2:14,16 (the Revised Version (British and American) "bruised"); (2) the "flour" or "meal" of ordinary use (Ex 29:2; Lev 2:2; 6:15), and (3) the "fine meal" for honoured guests (see Gen 18:6, where Abraham commands Sarah to "make ready .... three measures of fine meal") with which we may compare the "fine flour" for the king's kitchen (1 Kings 4:22) and the "fine flour" required for the ritual meal offering, as in Lev 2:1; 5:11; 7:12; 14:10; 23:13; 24:5; etc.

III. Bread-Making. - After thoroughly sifting and cleaning the grain, the first step in the process was to reduce it to "meal" or "flour" by rubbing, pounding, or grinding.

1. Grinding: (In Num 11:8 it is said of the manna "The people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars.") It has been shown that by a process, which is not yet extinct in Egypt, it was customary to rub the grain between two the "corn-rubbers" or "corn grinders," of which many specimens have been found by Petrie, Bliss, Macalister and others, at Lachish, Gezer and elsewhere (PEFS, 1902, 326; 1903, 118; compare Erman, Egypt, 180, for illustrations of actual use). For detailed descriptions of the other processes, see MORTAR; MILL.

2. Kneading: The "flour" was then ordinarily mixed simply with water, kneaded in a wooden basin or kneading-trough (Ex 8:3) and, in case of urgency, at once made into "cakes" and baked. (See Ex 12:34, "And the people took their dough before it was leavened.") The Hebrews called such cakes matstsoth, and they were the only kind allowed for use on the altar during Passover, and immediately following the Feast of Unleavened Bread (also called Matstsoth). Commonly however the process was as follows: a lump of leavened dough of yesterday's baking, preserved for the purpose, was broken up and mixed with the day's "batch," and the whole was then set aside and left standing until it was thoroughly leavened (see LEAVEN).

3. Baking: We find in the Old Testament, as in the practice of the East today, three modes of firing or baking bread: (1) that represented by Elijah's cake baked on the hot stones (1 Kings 19:6 the Revised Version, margin; compare "the cakes upon the hearth," Gen 18:6 the King James Version, and see Robinson, Researches, II, 406). The stones were laid together and a fire was lighted upon them. When the stones were well heated the cinders were raked off, and the cakes laid on the stones and covered with ashes. After a while the ashes were again removed and the cake was turned (see Hos 7:8) and once more covered with the glowing ashes. It was thus cooked on both sides evenly and made ready for eating (compare the Vulgate, Panis subcineraris, and DeLagarde, Symmicta, II, 188, where egkouthia, is referred to as "the hiding" of the cakes under the ashes). Out of these primitive usages of the pastoral tribes and peasants grew other improved forms of baking. (2) An ancient method of baking, prevalent still among the Bedouin of Syria and Arabia, is to employ a heated convex iron plate, or griddle, what we would call a frying pan, in lieu of the heated sand or stones. The Hebrew "baking-pan" (machabhath, Lev 2:5; 7:9; compare Ezek 4:3) must have been of this species of "griddle." The reference in 1 Chron 9:31 is probably to bread baked in this way. There it is said that one of the sons of the priests "had the office of trust over the things that were baked in pans."

4. Ovens: tannur (compare Arabic), no doubt were used by the Hebrews, when they settled in Palestine, as they were used by the settled populations of the Orient in general, more and more as they approached civilized conditions. These "ovens" were of various kinds: (1) The simplest used by the ancients were hardly more primitive than the kind quite commonly used in Palestine today. It may be called the "bowl-oven." It consists of a large clay-bowl, which is provided with a movable lid. This bowl is placed inverted upon small stones and then heated with a fuel distinctly oriental, consisting of dried dung heaped over and around it. The bread is baked on the stones, then covered by the inverted oven, which is heated by the firing of the fuel of dung on the outside of the cover. (2) The jar-oven is another form of oven found in use there today. This is a large earthen-ware jar that is heated by fuel of grass (Matt 6:30), stubble (Mal 4:1), dry twigs or thorns (1 Kings 17:12) and the like, which are placed within the jar for firing. When the jar is thus heated the cakes are stuck upon the hot inside walls. (3) The pit-oven was doubtless a development from this type. It was formed partly in the ground and partly built up of clay and plastered throughout, narrowing toward the top. The ancient Egyptians, as the monuments and mural paintings show, laid the cakes upon the outside of the oven (Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians); but in Palestine, in general, if the customs of today are conclusive, the fire was kindled in the inside of the pit-oven. Great numbers of such ovens have been unearthed in recent excavations, and we may well believe them to be exact counterparts of the oven of the professional bakers in the street named after them in Jerusalem "the bakers' street" (Jer 37:21). The largest and most developed form of oven is still the public oven of the town or city of this sort; but the primitive rural types still survive, and the fuel of thorns, and of the grass, "which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven," are still in evidence.

5. Forms of Baked Bread: (1) The large pone or thick, light loaf of the West is unknown in the East. The common oriental cake or loaf is proverbially thin. The thin home-made bread is really named both in Hebrew and Arabic from its thinness as is reflected in the translation "wafer" in Ex 16:31; 29:23; Lev 8:26; Num 6:19; 1 Chron 23:29. Such bread was called in Hebrew raqiq (raqiq; compare modern Arabic warkuk, from warak = "foliage," "paper").

(2) It is still significantly customary at a Syrian meal to take a piece of such bread and, with the ease and skill of long habit, to fold it over at the end held in the hand so as to make a sort of spoon of it, which then is eaten along with whatever is lifted by it out of the common dish (compare Matt 26:23). But this "dipping in the common dish" is so accomplished as not to allow the contents of the dish to be touched by the fingers, or by anything that has been in contact with the lips of those who sit at meat (compare Mackie, Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, article. "Bread").

(3) Such "loaves" are generally today about 7 inches in diameter and from half an inch to an inch thick. Such, probably, were the lad's "barley loaves" brought to Christ at the time of the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:9,13). Even thinner cakes, of both leavened and unleavened bread, are sometimes made now, as of old, especially at times of religious festivals. Often they are coated on the upper surface with olive oil and take on a glossy brown colour in cooking; and sometimes they are sprinkled over with aromatic seeds, which adhere and impart a spicy flavour. They may well recall to us the "oiled bread" of Lev 8:26 and "the wafers anointed with oil" of Ex 29:2 and Lev 2:4.

(4) Sometimes large discs of dough about 1 inch thick and 8 inches in diameter are prepared and laid in rows on long, thin boards like canoe paddles, and thus inserted into the oven; then, by a quick, deft jerk of the hand, they are slipped off upon the hot pavement and baked. These are so made and baked that when done they are soft and flexible, and for this reason are preferred by many to the thinner cakes which are cooked stiff and brown.

(5) The precise nature of the cracknels of 1 Kings 14:3 (the American Standard Revised Version "cakes") is not known. A variety of bakemeats (Gen 40:17, literally "food, the work of the baker") are met with in the Old Testament, but only in a few cases is it possible or important to identify their nature or forms (see Enc Bibl, coll. 460 f). A cake used for ritual purposes (Ex 29:2 and often) seems, from its name, to have been pierced with holes, like the modern Passover cakes (compare Kennedy, 1-vol Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), article "Bread").

6. Work for Women: (a) Every oriental household of importance seems to have had its own oven, and bread-making for the most part was in the hands of the women. Even when and where baking, as under advancing civilization, became a recognized public industry, and men were the professional bakers, a large part of the baker's work, as is true today, was to fire the bread prepared and in a sense pre-baked by the women at home. (b) The women of the East are often now seen taking a hand in sowing, harvesting and winnowing the grain, as well as in the processes of "grinding" (Eccl 12:3; Matt 24:41; Luke 17:35), "kneading" (Gen 18:6; 1 Sam 28:24; 2 Sam 13:8; Jer 7:18) and "baking" (1 Sam 8:13), and doubtless it was so in ancient times to an equal extent.

IV. Sanctity and Symbolism of Bread. - It would seem that the sanctity of bread remains as unchanged in the Orient as the sanctity of shrines and graves (compare Mackie, Hastings Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, article "Bread," and Robinson's Researches).

1. Sanctity: As in Egypt everything depended for life on the Nile, and as the Nile was considered "sacred," so in Palestine, as everything depended upon the wheat and barley harvest, "bread" was in a peculiar sense "sacred." The psychology of the matter seems to be about this: all life was seen to be dependent upon the grain harvest, this in turn depended upon rain in its season, and so bread, the product at bottom of these Divine processes, was regarded as peculiarly "a gift of God," a daily reminder of his continual and often undeserved care (Matt 5:45 ff; consider in this connection the Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," Matt 6:11; compare Luke 11:11). Travellers generally note as a special characteristic of the Oriental of today that, seeing a scrap of bread on the roadside, he will pick it up and throw it to a street dog, or place it in a crevice of the wall, or on a tree-branch where the birds may get it. One thing is settled with him, it must not be trodden under foot in the common dust, for, in the estimation of all, it has in it an element of mystery and sacredness as coming from the Giver of all good.

2. Symbolism: (a) In partaking of the hospitality of the primitive peasants of Palestine today, east and west of the Jordan, one sees what a sign and symbol of hospitality and friendship the giving and receiving of bread is. Among the Arabs, indeed, it has become a proverb, which may be put into English thus: "Eat salt together, be friends forever." Once let the Arab break bread with you and you are safe. You may find the bread the poorest barley loaf, still marked by the indentations of the pebbles, with small patches of the grey ash of the hearth, and here and there an inlaid bit of singed grass or charred thorn, the result of their primitive process of baking; but it is bread, the best that the poor man can give you, "a gift of God," indeed, and it is offered by the wildest Arab, with some sense of its sacredness and with somewhat of the gladness and dignity of the high duty of hospitality. No wonder, therefore, that it is considered the height of discourtesy, yea, a violation of the sacred law of hospitality, to decline it or to set it aside as unfit for use.

(b) Christ must have been influenced by His knowledge of some such feeling and law as this when, on sending forth His disciples, He charged them to "take no bread with them" (Mark 6:8). Not to have expected such hospitality, and not to have used what would thus be freely offered to them by the people, would have been a rudeness, not to say an offence, on the part of the disciples, which would have hindered the reception of the good tidings of the Kingdom.

(c) It has well been pointed out that God's gift of natural food to His people enters in for the praises of the Magnificat (Luke 1:53), and that when Christ called Himself "the bread of life" (John 6:35) He really appealed to all these endeared and indissoluble associations connected in the eastern mind with the meaning and use of bread. Most naturally and appropriately in the inauguration of the New Covenant Christ adopted as His memorial, not a monument of stone or brass, but this humble yet sacred article of food, familiar and accessible to all, to become, with the "wine" of common use, in the Lord's Supper, the perpetual symbol among His disciples of the communion of saints.

LITERATURE. --Wilkinson. Ancient Egypt, 1878, II, 34; Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben, 1885, 191 ff; Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebr. Archaologie, 1894; Maimonides, Yadh, Temidhin U-Mucaphin, v, 6-8; Bacher, Monats-schrift, 1901, 299; Mishnah B.M., II, 1, 2; Robinson, Biblical Researches in Palestine, II, 416; Doughty, Travels in Arabia Deserta, I, 131; Josephus, BJ; and Bible Dicts. on "Bread," "Dietary Laws": "Matstsoth," "Challah," etc.


(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft)


A staple food made from flour or meal and mixed with a liquid, usually combined with leaven and kneaded, then shaped into loaves and baked.

Bread played an important role in Israel's worship. During the celebration of PENTECOST, "two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah...of fine flour...baked with leaven" were offered with the animal sacrifices (Lev 23:17). A type of ritualistic bread known as SHOWBREAD consisted of 12 loaves baked without leaven by the Levites and placed weekly in the tabernacle, and later in the Temple (Ex 25:30). When removed at the end of the week, the loaves were eaten by the priests. The purpose of the showbread was to symbolize God's presence with His people.

When fleeing from bondage in Egypt, the Israelites made unleavened bread, or bread without yeast (Ex 12:8; 13:6-7). For that reason, the EXODUS was remembered annually by eating unleavened bread for a period of seven days (Lev 23:6). This celebration was called "the Days of Unleavened Bread" (Acts 12:3).

In the New Testament, Satan tempted Jesus by saying, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Matt 4:3-4).

In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matt 6:11). In the Gospel of John, Jesus called Himself "the true bread from heaven" (6:32), "the bread of God" (6:33), "the bread of life" (6:35), and "the bread which came down from heaven" (6:41). The Old Testament background for these references is the MANNA that fell miraculously from heaven to sustain God's people during the Exodus (Ex 16). Symbolically, Jesus is the heavenly manna, the spiritual or supernatural food given by the heavenly Father to those who ask, seek, and knock (Rev 2:17).

On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body' " (Matt 26:26). By His sacrifice, Christ became the Bread of Life for His people, that they may eat of Him and find forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

Bread is also spoken of often in figurative language in the Bible. "The bread of tears" (Ps 80:5) and "the bread of sorrows" (Ps 127:2) refer to food eaten in grief and distress. The "bread of mourners" (Hos 9:4) is bread eaten at the time of death. The "bread of adversity" symbolizes hardship (Isa 30:20). The virtuous woman does not eat "the bread of idleness" (Prov 31:27); she is diligent, hard-working, and productive.

Securing bread "without money and without price" (Isa 55:1) is finding that free gift of God that not only satisfies spiritual needs, but also bestows abundant life.

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)


The word bread in the Bible is used in a wide sense, often occurring as our "food," as in the petition "Give us this day our daily bread." In strictness it denotes baked food, especially loaves. Its earliest reference is found in Gen 18:5-6.

Material. The best bread was made of wheat, called "flour" or "meal" (Judg 6:19; 1 Sam 1:24; 1 Kings 4:22; etc.) and, when sifted, "fine flour" (Gen 18:6; Lev 2:1). A coarser bread was made of barley (Judg 7:13; John 6:9-13). Millet, spelt, beans, and lentils were also used (Ezek 4:9-12).

Preparation. To make "leavened bread" (Heb. hames, "sour") the flour was mixed with water, kneaded on a small kneading trough, with leaven added. These kneading troughs may have been mere pieces of leather, such as are now used by the Arabs, although the expression "bound up in the clothes" (Ex 12:34) favours the idea of a wooden bowl. The leavened dough was allowed time to rise (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:21), sometimes a whole night (Hos 7:6, "their baker sleepeth all the night," KJV). When the time for making bread was short the leaven was omitted, and unleavened cakes were baked, as is customary among the Arabs (Gen 18:6; 19:3; Ex 12:39; 1 Sam 28:24). Such cakes were called in Heb. massa, "sweetness."

Thin, round cakes made of unleavened dough were baked on heated sand or flat stones (1 Kings 19:6), by hot ashes or coals put on them-"ash-cakes." Such cakes are still the common bread of the Bedouin and poorer orientals. The outside is, of course, black as coal, but tastes good.

Old bread is described in Josh 9:5,12, as "crumbled" (Heb. niqqud, a "crumb"; KJV and NIV, "mouldy"), a term also applied to a sort of easily crumbled biscuit (KJV, "cracknels").

"From flour there were besides many kinds of confectionery made: (a) Oven-baked, sometimes perforated cakes kneaded with oil, sometimes thin, flat cakes only smeared with oil; (b) pancakes made of flour and oil, and sometimes baked in the pan, sometimes boiled in the skillet in oil, which were also presented as meat offerings; (c) honey cakes (Ex 16:31), raisin or grape cakes (Hos 3:1; Song 2:5; 2 Sam 6:19; 1 Chron 16:3), and heart cakes, kneaded from dough, sodden in the pan and turned out soft, a kind of pudding (2 Sam 13:6-9). . . . The various kinds of baked delicacies and cakes had, no doubt, become known to the Israelites in Egypt, where baking was carried to great perfection" (Keil, Arch., 2:126).

Baking. When the dough was ready for baking it was divided into round cakes (literally, "circles of bread," Ex 29:23; Judges 8:5; 1 Sam 10:3; etc.), not unlike flat stones in shape and appearance (Matt 7:9; cf. 4:3), about a span in diameter and a finger's breadth in thickness. The baking was generally done by the wife (Gen 18:6), daughter (2 Sam 13:8), or a female servant (1 Sam 8:13). As a trade, baking was carried on by men (Hos 7:4-6), often congregating, according to Eastern custom, in one quarter (Neh 3:11; 12:38, "Tower of Furnaces"; Jer 37:21, "bakers' street").

Egyptian Bread-making. The following account of early bread-making is interesting: "She spread some handfuls of grain upon an oblong slab of stone, slightly hollowed on its upper surface, and proceeded to crush them with a smaller stone like a painter's muller, which she moistened from time to time. For an hour and more she laboured with her arms, shoulders, loins, in fact, all her body; but an indifferent result followed from such great exertion. The flour, made to undergo several grindings in this rustic mortar, was coarse, uneven, mixed with bran or whole grains, which had escaped the pestle, and contaminated with dust and abraded particles of the stone. She kneaded it with a little water, blended with it, as a sort of yeast, a piece of stale dough of the day before, and made from the mass round cakes, about half an inch thick and some four inches in diameter, which she placed upon a flat flint, covering them with hot ashes. The bread, imperfectly raised, often badly cooked, borrowed, from the organic fuel under which it was buried, a special odour, and a taste to which strangers did not sufficiently accustom themselves. The impurities which it contained were sufficient in the long run to ruin the strongest teeth. Eating it was an action of grinding rather than chewing, and old men were not infrequently met with whose teeth had gradually been worn away to the level of the gums, like those of an aged ass or ox" (Maspero, Dawn of Civ., p. 320).

Figurative. The thin cakes already described were not cut but broken, hence the expression usual in Scripture of "breaking bread" to signify taking a meal (Lam 4:4; Matt 14:19; 15:36).

From our Lord's breaking bread at the institution of the Eucharist, the expression "breaking of" or  "to break bread," in the NT is used for the Lord's Supper (Matt 26:26) and for the agape, or love, feast (Acts 2:46).

 "Bread of privation" (lit., "penury") signifies to put one on the low rations of a siege or imprisonment (1 Kings 22:27; Isa 30:20).

 "Bread of painful labours" (Ps 127:2) means food obtained by toil.

 "Bread of tears" (Ps 80:5) probably signifies a condition of great sorrow.

 "Bread of wickedness" (Prov 4:17) and  "bread obtained by falsehood" (Prov 20:17) denote not only living or estate obtained by fraud but that to do evil is as much the portion of the wicked as to eat his bread.

 "Cast your bread on the surface of the waters" (Eccl 11:1) is doubtless an allusion to the custom of sowing seed by casting it from boats into the overflowing waters of the Nile or in any marshy ground. From v. 1 it is evident that charity is implied, and that, while seemingly hopeless, it shall prove at last not to have been thrown away (Isa 32:20).

 "Bread of Life" prefigures Christ as the supplier of true spiritual nourishment (John 6:48-51). He is the bread of heaven, and God's Word, like bread, is the spiritual staff of life (Matt 4:4).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Foerster, epiousioj, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. G. Kittel (1964), 2:590-99.

(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)


Called the STAFF OF LIFE


Bread of affliction

Leavened (made with yeast)

Unleavened (made without yeast)

Made of wheat flour





Mixed with oil


With leaven, or ferment

See leavened, in the paragraph above

Also see LEAVEN


Made into loaves




Baked in ovens

Baked in pans

Baked on hearths

Baked on coals

Baked on coals of dung

Made by men

Made by women

Traffic in


By idolaters






Of the body of Christ

(from Nave's Topical Bible, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1990 by Biblesoft and TriStar Publishing)


yoo' - kuh - rist

General Information

Since early Christian times, the word Eucharist, from the Greek eucharistia ("thanksgiving"), has been used to describe the Sacrament that Jesus Christ instituted at the Last Supper.

Four accounts of the origin of the Eucharist are given in the New Testament (Matt. 26:26 - 29, Mark 14:22 - 25, Luke 22:15 - 20, and 1 Cor. 11:23 - 26). There are minor variations, but all accounts agree that on the night before his crucifixion, Christ met with his disciples for a Last Supper. After solemn ritual acts he spoke of the bread as his body and the wine as his blood of the new Covenant.

Our List of 700 Religious Subjects

In the earliest written account, that of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, and in Luke, it is recorded that the disciples were instructed to continue the rite in remembrance of their Lord's death. The celebration of the Eucharist was accordingly regarded as an essential part of worship in the early church and has remained a central observance of the Christian church ever since. It is variously described as the Lord's Supper, Holy Communion, and the Mass. Christians of all traditions, with very few exceptions, regard the observance of the sacrament as a binding obligation.

Interpretations of the meaning of the Eucharist vary. Some Christian writers of the 2d century held that the Eucharist consists of two realities, an earthly and a heavenly. In the Middle Ages, the doctrine of transubstantiation was developed; it has remained the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic church. According to this position, the substance, or inner reality, of the bread and wine are changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ, but the accidents, or external qualities known through the senses (colour, weight, taste), remain unchanged.

Other interpretations of the Eucharist were emphasized at the time of the Reformation. Protestant positions range from the Lutheran view of consubstantiation, which holds that Christ is present along with the unchanged reality of the bread and wine, to the symbolic interpretation of the Eucharist as a simple memorial of Christ's death.

Despite differences of interpretation and variations in the manner and frequency of the rite, Christ's command, "Do this in remembrance of me," has been obeyed by Christians of every tradition throughout the centuries. Thus the Eucharist has remained a central and universal expression of Christian devotion.

Charles W Ranson

W R Crockett, Eucharist (1989); G D Kilpatrick, The Eucharist in Bible and Liturgy (1984); J M Powers, Eucharistic Theology (1967).

The Lord's Supper

from Uncollected Prose

The Lord's Supper

The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. — ROMANS XIV. 17.

In the history of the Church no subject has been more fruitful of controversy than the Lord's Supper. There never has been any unanimity in the understanding of its nature, nor any uniformity in the mode of celebrating it. Without considering the frivolous questions which have been lately debated as to the posture in which men should partake of it; whether mixed or unmixed wine should be served; whether leavened or unleavened bread should be broken; the questions have been settled differently in every church, who should be admitted to the feast, and how often it should be prepared. In the Catholic Church, infants were at one time permitted and then forbidden to partake; and, since the ninth century, the laity receive the bread only, the cup being reserved to the priesthood. So, as to the time of the solemnity. In the fourth Lateran Council, it was decreed that any believer should communicate at least once in a year — at Easter. Afterwards it was determined that this Sacrament should be received three times in the year — at Easter, Whitsuntide, and Christmas. But more important controversies have arisen respecting its nature. The famous question of the Real Presence was the main controversy between the Church of England and the Church of Rome. The doctrine of the Consubstantiation taught by Luther was denied by Calvin. In the Church of England, Archbishops Laud and Wake maintained that the elements were an Eucharist or sacrifice of Thanksgiving to God; Cudworth and Warburton, that this was not a sacrifice, but a sacrificial feast; and Bishop Hoadley, that it was neither a sacrifice nor a feast after sacrifice, but a simple commemoration. And finally, it is now near two hundred years since the Society of Quakers denied the authority of the rite altogether, and gave good reasons for disusing it.

I allude to these facts only to show that, so far from the supper being a tradition in which men are fully agreed, there always been the widest room for difference of opinion upon this particular.

Having recently given particular attention to this subject, I was led to the conclusion that Jesus did not intend to establish an institution for perpetual observance when he ate the Passover with his disciples; and, further, to the opinion, that it is not expedient to celebrate it as we do. I shall now endeavour to state distinctly my reasons for these two opinions.

I. The authority of the rite.

An account of the last supper of Christ with his disciples is given by the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

In St. Matthew's Gospel (Matt. XXVI. 26-30) are recorded the words of Jesus in giving bread and wine on that occasion to his disciples, but no expression occurs intimating that this feast was hereafter to be commemorated.

In St. Mark (Mark XIV. 23) the same words are recorded, and still with no intimation that the occasion was to be remembered.

St. Luke (Luke XXII. 15), after relating the breaking of the bread, has these words: This do in remembrance of me.

In St. John, although other occurrences of the same evening are related, this whole transaction is passed over without notice.

Now observe the facts. Two of the Evangelists, namely, Matthew and John, were of the twelve disciples, and were present on that occasion. Neither of them drops the slightest intimation of any intention on the part of Jesus to set up anything permanent. John, especially, the beloved disciple, who has recorded with minuteness the conversation and the transactions of that memorable evening, has quite omitted such a notice. Neither does it appear to have come to the knowledge of Mark who, though not an eye-witness, relates the other facts. This material fact, that the occasion was to be remembered, is found in Luke alone, who was not present. There is no reason, however, that we know, for rejecting the account of Luke. I doubt not, the expression was used by Jesus. I shall presently consider its meaning. I have only brought these accounts together, that you may judge whether it is likely that a solemn institution, to be continued to the end of time by all mankind, as they should come, nation after nation, within the influence of the Christian religion, would have been established in this slight manner — in a manner so slight, that the intention of commemorating it should not appear, from their narrative, to have caught the ear or dwelt in the mind of the only two among the twelve who wrote down what happened.

Still we must suppose that the expression, "This do in remembrance of me," had come to the ear of Luke from some disciple who was present. What did it really signify? It is a prophetic and an affectionate expression. Jesus is a Jew, sitting with his countrymen, celebrating their national feast. He thinks of his own impending death, and wishes the minds of his disciples to be prepared for it. "When hereafter," he says to them, "you shall keep the Passover, it will have an altered aspect to your eyes. It is now a historical covenant of God with the Jewish nation. Hereafter, it will remind you of a new covenant sealed with my blood. In years to come, as long as your people shall come up to Jerusalem to keep this feast, the connection which has subsisted between us will give a new meaning in your eyes to the national festival, as the anniversary of my death." I see natural feeling and beauty in the use of such language from Jesus, a friend to his friends; I can readily imagine that he was willing and desirous, when his disciples met, his memory should hallow their intercourse; but I cannot bring myself to believe that in the use of such an expression he looked beyond the living generation, beyond the abolition of the festival he was celebrating, and the scattering of the nation, and meant to impose a memorial feast upon the whole world.

Without presuming to fix precisely the purpose in the mind of Jesus, you will see that many opinions may be entertained of his intention, all consistent with the opinion that he did not design a perpetual ordinance. He may have foreseen that his disciples would meet to remember him, and that with good effect. It may have crossed his mind that this would be easily continued a hundred or a thousand years — as men more easily transmit a form than a virtue — and yet have been altogether out of his purpose to fasten it upon men in all times and all countries.

But though the words, Do this in remembrance of me, do occur in Matthew, Mark, or John, and although it should be granted us that, taken alone, they do not necessarily import so much as is usually thought, yet many persons are apt to imagine that the very striking and personal manner in which this eating and drinking is described, indicates a striking and formal purpose to found a festival. And I admit that this impression might probably be left upon the mind of one who read only the passages under consideration in the New Testament. But this impression is removed by reading any narrative of the mode in which the ancient or the modern Jews have kept the Passover. It is then perceived that the leading circumstances in the Gospels are only a faithful account of that ceremony. Jesus did not celebrate the Passover, and afterwards the Supper, but the Supper was the Passover. He did with his disciples exactly what every master of a family in Jerusalem was doing at the same hour with his household. It appears that the Jews ate the lamb and the unleavened bread, and drank wine after a prescribed manner. It was the custom for the master of the feast to break the bread and to bless it, using this formula, which the Talmudists have preserved to us, "Blessed be Thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, who hast produced this food from the earth," — and to give it to every one at the table. It was the custom of the master of the family to take the cup which contained the wine, and to bless it, saying, "Blessed be Thou, O Lord, who givest us the fruit of the vine," — and then to give the cup to all. Among the modern Jews who in their dispersion retain the Passover, a hymn is also sung after this ceremony, specifying the twelve great works done by God for the deliverance of their fathers out of Egypt.

But still it may be asked, why did Jesus make expressions so extraordinary and emphatic as these — "This is my body which is broken for you. Take; eat. This is my blood which is shed for you. Drink it." — I reply they are not extraordinary expressions from him. They were familiar in his mouth. He always taught by parables and symbols. It was the national way of teaching and was largely used by him. Remember the readiness which he always showed to spiritualise every occurrence. He stooped and wrote on the sand. He admonished his disciples respecting the leaven of the Pharisees. He instructed the woman of Samaria respecting living water. He permitted himself to be anointed, declaring that it was for his interment. He washed the feet of his disciples. These are admitted to be symbolical actions and expressions. Here, in like manner, he calls the bread his body, and bids the disciples eat. He had used the same expression repeatedly before. The reason why St. John does not repeat his words on this occasion, seems to be that he had reported a similar discourse of Jesus to the people of Capernaum more at length already (John VI. 27). He there tells the Jews, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." And when the Jews on that occasion complained that they did not comprehend what he meant, he added for their better understanding, and as if for our understanding, that we might not think his body was to be actually eaten, that he only meant, we should live by his commandment. He closed his discourse with these explanatory expressions: "The flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life."

Whilst I am upon this topic, I cannot help remarking that it is not a little singular that we should have preserved this rite and insisted upon perpetuating one symbolical act of Christ whilst we have totally neglected all others — particularly one other which had at least an equal claim to our observance. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and told them that, as he had washed their feet, they ought to wash one another's feet; for he had given them an example, that they should do as he had done to them. I ask any person who believes the Supper to have been designed by Jesus to be commemorated forever, to go and read the account of it in the other Gospels, and then compare with it the account of this transaction in St. John, and tell me if this be not much more explicitly authorized than the Supper. It only differs in this, that we have found the Supper used in New England and the washing of the feet not. But if we had found it an established rite in our churches, on grounds of mere authority, it would have been impossible to have argued against it. That rite is used by the Church of Rome, and by the Sandemanians. It has been very properly dropped by other Christians. Why? For two reasons: (1) because it was a local custom, and unsuitable in western countries; and (2) because it was typical, and all understand that humility is the thing signified. But the Passover was local too, and does not concern us, and its bread and wine were typical, and do not help us to understand the redemption which they signified.

These views of the original account of the Lord's Supper lead me to esteem it an occasion full of solemn and prophetic interest, but never intended by Jesus to be the foundation of a perpetual institution.

It appears however in Christian history that the disciples had very early taken advantage of these impressive words of Christ to hold religious meetings, where they broke bread and drank wine as symbols.

I look upon this fact as very natural in the circumstances of the church. The disciples lived together; they threw all their property into a common stock; they were bound together by the memory of Christ, and nothing could be more natural than that this eventful evening should be affectionately remembered by them; that they, Jews like Jesus, should adopt his expressions and his types, and furthermore, that what was done with peculiar propriety by them, his personal friends, with less propriety should come to be extended to their companions also. In this way religious feasts grew up among the early Christians. They were readily adopted by the Jewish converts who were familiar with religious feasts, and also by the Pagan converts whose idolatrous worship had been made up of sacred festivals, and who very readily abused these to gross riot, as appears from the censures of St. Paul. Many persons consider this fact, the observance of such a memorial feast by the early disciples, decisive of the question whether it ought to be observed by us. For my part I see nothing to wonder at in its originating with them; all that is surprising is that it should exist among us. There was good reason for his personal friends to remember their friend and repeat his words. It was only too probable that among the half converted Pagans and Jews, any rite, any form, would find favour, whilst yet unable to comprehend the spiritual character of Christianity.

The circumstance, however, that St. Paul adopts these views, has seemed to many persons conclusive in favour of the institution. I am of opinion that it is wholly upon the epistle to the Corinthians, and not upon the Gospels, that the ordinance stands. Upon this matter of St. Paul's view of the Supper, a few important considerations must be stated.

The end which he has in view, in the eleventh chapter of the first epistle is, not to enjoin upon his friends to observe the Supper, but to censure their abuse of it. We quote the passage now-a-days as if it enjoined attendance upon the Supper; but he wrote it merely to chide them for drunkenness. To make their enormity plainer he goes back to the origin of this religious feast to show what sort of feast that was, out of which this riot of theirs came, and so relates the transactions of the Last Supper. "I have received of the Lord," he says, "that which I delivered to you."

By this expression it is often thought that a miraculous communication is implied; but certainly without good reason, if it is remembered that St. Paul was living in the lifetime of all the apostles who could give him an account of the transaction; and it is contrary to all reason to suppose that God should work a miracle to convey information that could so easily be got by natural means. So that the import of the expression is that he had received the story of an eye-witness such as we also possess.

But there is a material circumstance which diminishes our confidence in the correctness of the Apostle's view; and that is, the observation that his mind had not escaped the prevalent error of the primitive church, the belief, namely, that the second coming of Christ would shortly occur, until which time, he tells them, this feast was to be kept. Elsewhere he tells them, that, at that time the world would be burnt up with fire, and a new government established, in which the Saints would sit on thrones; so slow were the disciples during the life, and after the ascension of Christ, to receive the idea which we receive, that his second coming was a spiritual kingdom, the dominion of his religion in the hearts of men, to be extended gradually over the whole world.

In this manner we may see clearly enough how this ancient ordinance got its footing among the early Christians, and this single expectation of a speedy reappearance of a temporal Messiah, which kept its influence even over so spiritual a man as St. Paul, would naturally tend to preserve the use of the rite when once established.

We arrive then at this conclusion, first, that it does not appear, from a careful examination of the account of the Last Supper in the Evangelists, that it was designed by Jesus to be perpetual; secondly, that it does not appear that the opinion of St. Paul, all things considered, ought to alter our opinion derived from the evangelists.

One general remark before quitting this branch of the subject. We ought to be cautious in taking even the best ascertained opinions and practices of the primitive church, for our own. If it could be satisfactorily shown that they esteemed it authorized and to be transmitted forever, that does not settle the question for us. We know how inveterately they were attached to their Jewish prejudices, and how often even the influence of Christ failed to enlarge their views. On every other subject succeeding times have learned to form a judgment more in accordance with the spirit of Christianity than was the practice of the early ages.

But it is said: "Admit that the rite was not designed to be perpetual. What harm doth it? Here it stands, generally accepted, under some form, by the Christian world, the undoubted occasion of much good; is it not better it should remain?"

II. This is the question of expediency.

I proceed to state a few objections that in my judgment lie against its use in its present form.

1. If the view which I have taken of the history of the institution be correct, then the claim of authority should be dropped in administering it. You say, every time you celebrate the rite, that Jesus enjoined it; and the whole language you use conveys that impression. But if you read the New Testament as I do, you do not believe he did.

2. It has seemed to me that the use of this ordinance tends to produce confusion in our views of the relation of the soul to God. It is the old objection to the doctrine of the Trinity, — that the true worship was transferred from God to Christ, or that such confusion was introduced into the soul, that an undivided worship was given nowhere. Is not that the effect of the Lord's Supper? I appeal now to the convictions of communicants — and ask such persons whether they have not been occasionally conscious of a painful confusion of thought between the worship due to God and the commemoration due to Christ. For, the service does not stand upon the basis of a voluntary act, but is imposed by authority. It is an expression of gratitude to Christ, enjoined by Christ. There is an endeavour to keep Jesus in mind, whilst yet the prayers are addressed to God. I fear it is the effect of this ordinance to clothe Jesus with an authority which he never claimed and which distracts the mind of the worshipper. I know our opinions differ much respecting the nature and offices of Christ, and the degree of veneration to which he is entitled. I am so much a Unitarian as this: that I believe the human mind cannot admit but one God, and that every effort to pay religious homage to more than one being, goes to take away all right ideas. I appeal, brethren, to your individual experience. In the moment when you make the least petition to God, though it be but a silent wish that he may approve you, or add one moment to your life, — do you not, in the very act, necessarily exclude all other beings from your thought? In that act, the soul stands alone with God, and Jesus is no more present to the mind than your brother or your child.

But is not Jesus called in Scripture the Mediator? He is the mediator in that only sense in which possibly any being can mediate between God and man — that is an Instructor of man. He teaches us how to become like God. And a true disciple of Jesus will receive the light he gives most thankfully; but the thanks he offers, and which an exalted being will accept, are not compliments — commemorations, — but the use of that instruction.

3. Passing other objections, I come to this, that the use of the elements, however suitable to the people and the modes of thought in the East, where it originated, is foreign and unsuited to affect us. Whatever long usage and strong association may have done in some individuals to deaden this repulsion, I apprehend that their use is rather tolerated than loved by any of us. We are not accustomed to express our thoughts or emotions by symbolical actions. Most men find the bread and wine no aid to devotion and to some, it is a painful impediment. To eat bread is one thing; to love the precepts of Christ and resolve to obey them is quite another.

The statement of this objection leads me to say that I think this difficulty, wherever it is felt, to be entitled to the greatest weight. It is alone a sufficient objection to the ordinance. It is my own objection. This mode of commemorating Christ is not suitable to me. That is reason enough why I should abandon it. If I believed that it was enjoined by Jesus on his disciples, and that he even contemplated making permanent this mode of commemoration, every way agreeable to an eastern mind, and yet, on trial, it was disagreeable to my own feelings, I should not adopt it. I should choose other ways which, as more effectual upon me, he would approve more. For I choose that my remembrances of him should be pleasing, affecting, religious. I will love him as a glorified friend, after the free way of friendship, and not pay him a stiff sign of respect, as men do to those whom they fear. A passage read from his discourses, a moving provocation to works like his, any act or meeting which tends to awaken a pure thought, a flow of love, an original design of virtue, I call a worthy, a true commemoration.

4. Fourthly, the importance ascribed to this particular ordinance is not consistent with the spirit of Christianity. The general object and effect of this ordinance is unexceptionable. It has been, and is, I doubt not, the occasion of indefinite good; but an importance is given by Christians to it which never can belong to any form. My friends, the apostle well assures us that "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy, in the Holy Ghost." I am not so foolish as to declaim against forms. Forms are as essential as bodies; but to exalt particular forms, to adhere to one form a moment after it is out-grown, is unreasonable, and it is alien to the spirit of Christ. If I understand the distinction of Christianity, the reason why it is to be preferred over all other systems and is divine is this, that it is a moral system; that it presents men with truths which are their own reason, and enjoins practices that are their own justification; that if miracles may be said to have been its evidence to the first Christians, they are not its evidence to us, but the doctrines themselves; that every practice is Christian which praises itself, and every practice unchristian which condemns itself. I am not engaged to Christianity by decent forms, or saving ordinances; it is not usage, it is not what I do not understand, that binds me to it — let these be the sandy foundations of falsehoods. What I revere and obey in it is its reality, its boundless charity, its deep interior life, the rest it gives to my mind, the echo it returns to my thoughts, the perfect accord it makes with my reason through all its representation of God and His Providence; and the persuasion and courage that come out thence to lead me upward and onward. Freedom is the essence of this faith. It has for its object simply to make men good and wise. Its institutions, then, should be as flexible as the wants of men. That form out of which the life and suitableness have departed, should be as worthless in its eyes as the dead leaves that are falling around us.

And therefore, although for the satisfaction of others, I have laboured to show by the history that this rite was not intended to be perpetual; although I have gone back to weigh the expressions of Paul, I feel that here is the true point of view. In the midst of considerations as to what Paul thought, and why he so thought, I cannot help feeling that it is time misspent to argue to or from his convictions, or those of Luke and John, respecting any form. I seem to lose the substance in seeking the shadow. That for which Paul lived and died so gloriously; that for which Jesus gave himself to be crucified; the end that animated the thousand martyrs and heroes who have followed his steps, was to redeem us from a formal religion, and teach us to seek our well-being in the formation of the soul. The whole world was full of idols and ordinances. The Jewish was a religion of forms. The Pagan was a religion of forms; it was all body — it had no life — and the Almighty God was pleased to qualify and send forth a man to teach men that they must serve him with the heart; that only that life was religious which was thoroughly good; that sacrifice was smoke, and forms were shadows. This man lived and died true to this purpose; and now, with his blessed word and life before us, Christians must contend that it is a matter of vital importance — really a duty, to commemorate him by a certain form, whether that form be agreeable to their understandings or not.

Is not this to make vain the gift of God? Is not this to turn back the hand on the dial? Is not this to make men — to make ourselves — forget that not forms, but duties; not names, but righteousness and love are enjoined; and that in the eye of God there is no other measure of the value of any one form than the measure of its use?

There remain some practical objections to the ordinance into which I shall not now enter. There is one on which I had intended to say a few words; I mean the unfavourable relation in which it places that numerous class of persons who abstain from it merely from disinclination to the rite.

Influenced by these considerations, I have proposed to the brethren of the Church to drop the use of the elements and the claim of authority in the administration of this ordinance, and have suggested a mode in which a meeting for the same purpose might be held free of objection.

My brethren have considered my views with patience and candour, and have recommended unanimously an adherence to the present form. I have, therefore, been compelled to consider whether it becomes me to administer it. I am clearly of opinion I ought not. This discourse has already been so far extended, that I can only say that the reason of my determination is shortly this: — It is my desire, in the office of a Christian minister, to do nothing which I cannot do with my whole heart. Having said this, I have said all. I have no hostility to this institution; I am only stating my want of sympathy with it. Neither should I ever have obtruded this opinion upon other people, had I not been called by my office to administer it. That is the end of my opposition, that I am not interested in it. I am content that it stand to the end of the world, if it please men and please heaven, and I shall rejoice in all the good it produces.

As it is the prevailing opinion and feeling in our religious community, that it is an indispensable part of the pastoral office to administer this ordinance, I am about to resign into your hands that office which you have confided to me. It has many duties for which I am feebly qualified. It has some which it will always be my delight to discharge, according to my ability, wherever I exist. And whilst the recollection of its claims oppresses me with a sense of my unworthiness, I am consoled by the hope that no time and no change can deprive me of the satisfaction of pursuing and exercising its highest functions.

September 9, 1832.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Amish Friendship Bread

ingredients for 1 servings :

  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 each eggs
  • 1 large box or 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix

On mixing day, combine starter in a large non metallic bowl with 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Mix thoroughly and pour 4 1 cup starters into plastic sealer bags. Keep 1 starter for yourself, then give the other 3 away, along with the instructions on how to care for it.

To the remaining batter, add all the other ingredients, mixing thoroughly.

Grease 2 large loaf pans, or a 9 x 13 cake pan. Combine 1/4 cup sugar with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and coat bottoms and sides of pans. Place the batter into the pans. Coat top of batter with butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake at 325 for 50 75 minutes, or till done.

Kletzenbrot - Austria (Dried Fruit Bread) - Advent


2 cups sifted whole wheat flour

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

⅔ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

cup currants

2 cups buttermilk

1 cup chopped nuts

½ cup raisins

1 cup chopped prunes

1 cup chopped figs

1/2 cup currants

Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Add buttermilk, gradually. Stir to smooth dough consistency. Mix in nuts, raisins, remaining in­gredients. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 1¼ to 1½ hours at 350º or until loaf is firm and lightly browned.

Yield, 1 loaf


Pyrohi                          CHRISTMAS EVE                 Ukraine

4 large potatoes, peeled
2 teaspoons salt, divided

2 slices pimiento cheese, crumbled              
2 small onions, chopped    

½ cup butter divided

4½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 eggs

¾ cup lukewarm water
2 quarts boiling water                    


Boil potatoes 25 minutes in water to which i teaspoon salt has been added. Drain. Mash. Add cheese. Reserve.


Sauté onions lightly in ¼ cup butter in skillet until golden.


Combine onion and potato mixture.


Sift flour with i teaspoon salt. Beat eggs with lukewarm water. Combine, adding only enough egg to make dough stick together. Knead on lightly floured bread board for 10 minutes; return to bowl; cover with cloth; reserve 20 minutes. Roll dough out on lightly floured board. Cut in 3-inch squares. Fill each square with 2 tablespoons potato-onion mixture. Press ends closed; reserve on cloth until ready to cook.

When all dumplings are made, drop into boiling water. When water boils up to top of saucepan, lower heat. Boil i o minutes. Drain. Serve garnished with remaining butter, melted.


PRUNE—½ pound prunes, cooked, mashed.

CHEESE—½ pound dry cottage cheese, i egg beaten, dill, ⅛ teaspoon salt; combine ingredients.

OR—½ pound dry cottage cheese, i egg beaten, 2 tablespoons sugar, vanilla; combine ingredients.


Yield, 8 servings


CHRISTMAS EVE                                                                           Bunelos - Mexico

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1  teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup milk

¼ cup butter, melted

Sift dry ingredients into bowl. Combine eggs, milk; add to dry ingredients. Add butter; mix to non-sticky consistency, adding an additional 1-2 tablespoons milk if necessary. Place on floured board; knead until smooth. Divide dough into 18-24 pieces. Shape into balls. Cover with cloth; reserve 20 minutes. Then place on floured board. Press into rounds 4 inches in diameter. Set rounds aside for 5 minutes. Fry each round in deep fat or oil until light brown on each side. Place on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, honey.

Yield, 3-4 dozen


Knedle - Christmas Eve - Poland


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup water


1 cup cottage cheese

1 teaspoon butter, melted

1 egg, well beaten

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons currants

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 quarts boiling water

ONE (Dumplings)

Sift flour into a bowl; make “well” in center. Drop eggs into “well”; mix thoroughly. Add salt, water. Knead dough until smooth and firm. Set aside for 15 minutes in a warm place.


Divide dough into 2 parts. Roll out each part very thin. Cut dough in circles; reserve until filling is prepared.


Combine all ingredients for filling. Blend well. Place teaspoon of filling in center of each dough round. Moisten edges of dough with water. Fold; press edges firmly together, sealing with a fork. Place 2 quarts water in 4-quart sauce pot; bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer. Drop dumplings into water. Simmer 5 minutes.

Yield, 6 servings



In various sections of Europe and Latin America a bread ring in honor of the three holy Kings is baked on the eve of the feast and eaten as coffee-bread or dessert on Epiphany Day. Its form represents the ancient Roman wreath (corona), a symbol of royalty.

2 packages active dry, or cake, yeast

2 tablespoons luke-warm water

⅔ cup boiling hot milk ‘A cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons salt

3 eggs, well beaten

⅓  cup shortening

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided

2 cups finely chopped candied fruits and citron

confectioners’ sugar


assorted fruits


Dissolve yeast in water. Blend hot milk, sugar, salt. Cool to luke-warm. Add softened yeast, eggs, shortening, 2 cups flour; blend well. Add remaining flour, fruits; mix to stiff dough. Divide dough into 2 sections; form 2 ropes about 20 inches long. Shape ropes into circles and conceal a tiny china doll in dough. Place on baking sheet; brush with melted shortening. Set aside to rise 1 hour and 15 minutes. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375º


Blend confectioners’ sugar and milk to fondant consistency; spread on loaves. Decorate with fruits. Cool before slicing.

Yield, 2 loaves



LENT - England

Toward the end of the Middle Ages the tradition developed in England that on the fourth Sunday of Lent boys and girls who lived away from home (as apprentices, servants, students, etc.) were given permission to visit their home towns. There they dropped into the church for a short devotion and left a small gift on the altar. Then they went to their parents’ house and brought their mothers a present in the form of a rich plum cake. Such a cake was called “simnel” (from the Latin simila: fine flour). From this observance the Sunday acquired the name “Mothering Sunday” and the journey of the young people was known as “going a-mothering.”

¾ cup butter                                     3/4 cup raisins
2 cups sugar                                      1 cup diced candied
4 eggs                                               orange and grapefruit peel              
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour           2 cups almond paste
½ teaspoon salt                                sugar icing glaze

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat after adding each egg. Sift together flour and salt. Add to creamed mixture; mix well. Sprinkle raisins and diced fruit with flour. Fold into batter. Grease inside of deep, round cake tin. Pour in ½ of batter. Roll out almond paste to sheet the size of cake tin. Place almond paste on top of dough. Cover almond paste with remaining batter. Bake for 1 hour at 300º Frost with thin con­fectioners’ sugar glaze.

Yield, 1 cake


Lambropsomo - Greece

1 package hot roll mix

3/4 cup warm water

1   unbeaten egg

1   egg yolk

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup candied chopped cherries

⅓  cup chopped citron

1/3 cup chopped blanched almonds

1 slightly beaten egg white

2/3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

4-5   teaspoons cream

Dissolve yeast from hot roll mix in water in large bowl. Add egg, egg yolk, dry mix. Mix thoroughly. Let rise to double in bulk (30-60 minutes). Turn out on lightly floured board; knead in raisins, cherries, citron, almonds. Divide dough into 3 parts; shape each portion into smooth ball. Place 3 balls on greased baking sheet, 1 inch apart, as for 3-leaf clover. Reserve in warm place to rise until double in bulk. Brush tops with egg white. Bake 30 minutes at 375º. Glaze while warm with confectioners’ sugar combined with cream. Decorate with almonds and cherries.

Yield, 3 small coffee breads


Colomba Pasquale - EASTER - Italy


1/4 cup ground almonds

1 egg white

2 teaspoons sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons water


1 package active dry, or cake, yeast

¼ cup warm water

¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

¼  cup butter, melted, cooled

1 unbeaten egg

1 unbeaten egg yolk

½ teaspoon salt

2-2¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup chopped candied fruit

ONE (Glaze)

Combine all glaze ingredients; reserve.

TWO (Cake)

Soften yeast in warm water. Combine brown sugar, butter, egg, egg. yolk, salt in mixing bowl; add yeast. Gradually add flour to form stiff dough. Knead on floured surface 5 minutes. Add raisins, candied fruit. Knead 5 minutes until fruit evenly distributed. Divide in 2 parts, 1 slightly larger than the other. Roll out largest portion on floured board to 8 x 5-inch rectangle. Place on well-greased baking sheet, shaping into head, body, tail of dove. Divide remaining dough into 2 parts. Roll out into 2 long “wings”; place on either side of neck. Cover. Reserve to rise in warm place until double in size (about 2 ½ hours). Brush with glaze. Bake 35-40

minutes at 325º.

Yield, 1 loaf


Babka, Osterbrot EASTER Ukraine, Russia and Central Europe

2 packages active dry, or cake, yeast

2 cups scalded milk, lukewarm

8 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided egg yolks beaten

1  cup sugar

¼ cup melted butter

1  cup currants

1  tablespoon vanilla

1  teaspoon salt


Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk. Add 3. Let rise until double (overnight).

Add 3 cups flour, mixing thoroughly.

TWO (In morning)

Add egg yolks, sugar, butter, currants, vanilla, salt, enough remaining flour to make a light dough. Reserve to rise in warm place until double.


Turn out on floured board; knead well, using more flour if necessary to make medium dough. Place in 2 large, greased loaf pans. Let rise to double bulk once more. Bake 10 minutes at 400º Bake 50 minutes more at 350º.

Yield, 2 loaves



EASTER - Razinu Piragas - Lithuania

2 cups milk, scalded

2 packages active dry, or cake, yeast

¾ cup sugar, divided

6 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

3 eggs

1   teaspoon salt

1   cup white raisins

½  cup butter, melted

1 egg yolk

1 ½ tablespoons water


Cool milk to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast, ¼ cup sugar in milk. Add 3 cups flour; mix well. Cover; let rise in warm place until light, bubbly.


Combine eggs, ½  cup sugar, salt, raisins and butter; beat well. Add to dough. Add remaining flour; knead well. Reserve to rise until double in bulk.


Punch down. Shape into 2 loaves; place in bread pans. Allow  to rise again. Brush top with glaze of 1 egg yolk combined with 1 ½ tablespoons water. Bake 50 minutes at 350º.

Yield, 2 loaves


Torta di Ricotta - Italy

½ cup butter                          
1 ¾ cups sugar, divided         
12 eggs, divided                    
¼ teaspoon vanilla                
2 ½ cups sifted all- purpose flour      
1 teaspoon baking powder                             

¾ teaspoon salt, divided

2 pounds ricotta cheese

⅔ cup diced citron

2, 4-ounce bars milk chocolate, coarsely grated


Beat butter until creamy in large bowl of mixer at medium speed. Add ¼ cup sugar; blend. Add 2 eggs, vanilla; mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt. Combine with butter mixture mixing at low speed.


Divide pastry into 3 parts. Roll out 1 part pastry on floured wax paper to 11-inch circle; invert into 8-inch layer cake pan. Peel off paper. Press pastry to bottom and up along sides of pan so it extends ¼ inch above edge to make low fluted edge on rim of pan. Roll out 2nd part pastry as above and put into second 8-inch layer pan. Roll out 3rd part pastry; cut in 12 strips ¼ inch wide. Re­frigerate overnight.


Mix cheese, 1 ½ cups sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, remaining eggs. Add citron, grated chocolate. Pour into pastry-lined pans. Criss­cross 6 pastry strips over top of each. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350º. Cool. Refrigerate until served.

Yield, 2 cakes


ALL SOULS’ DAY - Mexico - Pan de Muerto

½ cup milk

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup shortening

1 package active dry, or cake, yeast

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, beaten

2¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour

Bring milk to boil in saucepan; remove from heat. Add sugar, salt, shortening; stir until shortening is melted and mixture is luke-warm. Dissolve yeast in mixture; beat in egg and egg yolk. Add flour: mix until moderately stiff. Knead until smooth. Reserve on board 30 minutes covered with damp cloth. Divide dough into 3 equal parts; roll into ropes i6 inches long; reserve small amount of dough for decoration. Braid dough, pressing ends together to seal. Reserve braid on lightly greased baking sheet covered with damp cloth; allow to rise in warm place 1½ hours. Shape reserved small mound of dough into cross and decorate loaf. Brush with melted butter. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375º .

Yield, 1 loaf


ASCENSION THURSDAY  - France - Beignets des Pommes


4 large apples

2 tablespoons Cointreau

2 cups water

2  tablespoons sugar


1 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour

2/3 cup water


1  egg, separated

3 tablespoons Cointreau

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Pare, core and slice apples. Combine 2 tablespoons Cointreau, water, sugar. Marinate apples in liquid 1 hour.


Mix flour, water, a pinch of salt, egg yolk. Beat mixture. Add Cointreau, oil. Reserve i hour. Beat egg white until stiff. Fold egg white into flour batter. Dip apples in batter. Fry in deep fat until golden brown. Remove; drain. Sprinkle with sugar.

Yield, 4 servings



This recipe is a good one for those chilly late winter or spring nights. It also works nicely for meals during the Passover season.

Matzo balls

3/4 cup matzo meal                

1/3 cup chicken broth or water

1 tsp. dry chicken soup mix or bouillon         

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Salt as desired

2 slightly beaten eggs

Mix all ingredients well. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour while making the chicken soup. After all liquids are absorbed and it is cold and manageable, moisten hands with water or 011 and roll into small balls one inch in diameter. Drop into briskly boiling soup, cover, reduce heat, and boil slowly about 30 minutes.

lf you want matzo balls as a side dish, drop into briskly boiling salted water. Cook, drain, and serve. Makes 18 to 20 balls.


Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well n the centre and add 250 ml of the buttermilk. Mix lightly with a broad-bladed knife to form a firm dough, adding the remaining buttermilk if necessary.

Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until a smooth ball is formed. Roll or pat out to form a circle approximately 20 cm in diameter and no more than 1 cm//2 inch thick. Cut into quarters to make 4 farls.


Heat a griddle or heavy cast-iron frying pan over a gentle heat, sprinkle with flour and when this turns pale beige, the temperature is correct for cooking. Place the farls on the pan and cook for 6—10 minutes on each side, until risen and pale beige. When cooked, they will sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the pan, wrap in a clean cloth and leave to cool slightly. Serve warm, sliced in half and generously buttered.

Cook’s Tips

lf soda bread flour is not available, use plain flour with ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and ½ teaspoon cream of tartar.

Soda farls are an important feature of an Ulster Fry and as the container for a tried egg, bacon and sausage for a quick snack known as a sausage soda.

Preparation time

10—15 minutes

Cooking time

12—20 minutes

You will need

300 g soda bread flour, plus extra, for dusting

1 teaspoon salt

250—300 ml buttermilk

Makes 4 farls

Irish Oatcakes

Put the oatmeal into a large bowl. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and salt on top and make a well in the centre. Put the butter and water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour into the well and mix to bind.

Turn on to a work surface lightly sprinkled with oatmeal and roll out the dough to form a cake about 23 cm in diameter and 3 mm thick. Sprinkle more oatmeal on top of the cake and press it into the surface. Cut into 8 triangles. Arrange the triangles on a lightly floured baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 1 800C <3500F>, Gas Mark 4 for about 40 minutes.

Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

40 minutes

Oven temperature

1800C (3500F), Gas Mark 4

You will need

250g medium or fine oatmeal, plus extra for shaping

50 g plain flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon salt

50 g butter

50 ml hot water

Makes 8 oatcakes


3/4 c. lukewarm water              1 tsp. salt

1 pkg. dry yeast                        2 c. flour

1 tsp. sugar                               corn meal

Dissolve yeast in water; add sugar and salt and mix well. Work in flour gradually. Knead on floured board until it becomes a soft, elastic ball. Place in oiled bowl and let rise one hour. Now divide into 6 or 8 equal parts and knead each part until each one becomes a round ball. Cover and let rest 30-40 minutes. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle a cookie sheet with a little corn meal. Roll each ball to a 5’ circle, and bake 2 at a time on a cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes.

Remove and place in plastic bag. Pitot will puff up while baking and flatten while cooling. They may be cut in half, opened and filled with felafels or your favourite cold cuts. They may also be used to dip into humous or eaten in many other ways. They are best eaten while hot or warm (maybe re-heated in a microwave or wrapped in foil in a conventional oven). Makes 6-8 pitot.







(traditional Sabbath bread)

1 c. warm water                                 1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine

2 packages dry yeast                         2 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 cup sugar                                      1½ tsp. salt
4 10 5 cups unbleached, white 1 small egg + 1 Tbsp. water


In a large bowl, mix water, yeast, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 cups flour and set aside to rise for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, in another large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1½ tsp. salt. Cut in margarine (use corn 011 only —not milk margarine).

Add 2 slightly beaten eggs to the yeast mixture (the first bowl). Next, work in the flour mixture and stir until completely mixed. lf the dough seems 100 sticky, add up to 1 more cup flour. Knead on a floured board about 5 minutes. Place in a very large, oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk —about 1½  to 2 hours.

Turn out on a floured surface and roll out long — like a rope. Divide each piece in half (for 2 loaves) then divide each loaf into three pieces. Braid each loaf carefully and place on greased and floured baking sheets. Let rise about 3-4 hours. Brush each with the beaten egg and water and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (25-30 minutes). Serve hot or warm.

Sesame or poppy seeds may be sprinkled on top after brushing with egg. For those who prefer whole wheat, add 3 Tbsp. honey with the beaten eggs. Substitute 1½ to 2 cups whole wheat (graham) flour for white flour in the second bowl.

The beautiful loaves of Challah are representative of God’s provision for his people. They certainly remind us of the shewbread, or the bread of God’s presence, which was baked fresh each Sabbath in the days of the Tabernacle and Temple.


1 pkg. dry yeast                        2½ to 3 c. flour
1/2 c. warm water                    2 egg whites, slightly beaten
3 Thsp. sugar                            2 Tbsp. oil
3/4 tsp. salt                               1/4 c. raisins
1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp. Water     

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, egg whites and oil. Stir well. Add 1½ cups flour. Beat at least 50 strokes. Stir in one more cup flour. lf dough is sticky, add up to 1/2 c. more flour. Knead on floured surface till nicely elastic and manageable. Put in oiled bowl and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again.

After second rising, turn out on floured surface. Add raisins and knead a few times. Roll out like a rope 10 a length of about 30 inches (70 cm.). Beginning at one end, wind up in a coil so that it is crown shaped. Put on greased cookie sheet or large flat pan. Brush with egg yolk mix. lf desired, sprinkle with sesame seed and let rise about 1 5 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown on top (20-30 minutes). Round Challot are served at Rosh HaShana. This particular recipe can also be braided for Shabbat meals.


Flaky Yemenite bread

3 c. all-purpose flour                 1 c. butter, melted and clarified
1/4 tsp. baking powder             1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. water                                  1 tsp. sugar
                                                  1 tsp. vinegar (optional)

Sift the baking powder into the flour, make a well in the centre and add water, 1 tablespoon of the butter, salt, sugar and vinegar (if desired). Knead to a smooth elastic consistency. Cut into 6 equal portions, and allow to “rest” in a cool place for 20 minutes. Flatten each piece to a 6” round.

Brush each round with the melted butter, then roll it into a tight sausage shape. Allow the rolls to rest for 20 minutes. Repeat the flattening, rolling and brushing procedure twice more, waiting 20 minutes between rolling and re-flattening. The final results should be flat and round like pita.

Using a non-stick skillet/frying pan, fry the malawah on both sides until golden brown, flipping them over at half time. Serve with freshly puréed tomatoes and zhoug (see recipe included under “Miscellaneous’). Also good with honey.

Malawah freeze well. Just put waxed/greaseproof paper between them and seal them in a freezer bag.

-  From Taste of lsrael by Avi Ganor & Ron Maiberg — 1990

MANDEL BREAD (Manlelbrot)

2 cups flour

10 ml baking powder

2 beaten eggs

65 ml chopped a1irv~nds

190 ml sugar

125 ml margarine

5 ml vanilla essence

Sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in margarine. vanilla and almonds. Shape into rolls about 2” in diameter. Place greased cookie sheet. Bake at 1800C for 30 minutes. Cut diagonally one inch wide, put back into oven and bake another 10 minutes. Keeps while.


1,25 kg Nutty Wheat (big pkt)

2 cups bran

18 ml salt

12,5 ml dry yeast

15 ml sugar

65 m1 warm water

Knead nutty wheat, bran, salt and yeast water. Cover with blanket. Leave to again and place in baking tins. Leave for 1 ½  hours.

solution to a stiff dough with warm rise overnight. Next morning knead to rise again. Bake in 1800C oven


1 tin creamed mielies (114 g)

500 g flour

1 tin milk (measure milk in mielie tin)

2 ml sout

1)       Put mielies and flour in mixing bowl.

2)       Fill mielie tin with milk and add together with salt.

3)       Mix well and add dough to oiled bread tin.

4)       Bake + 60 min in average oven.


1 kg self—raising flour

3 cups nutty wheat

500 g margarine

5 ml salt

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

500 ml buttermilk

Rub margarine into dry ingredients, then add liquids.  (Beat eggs into buttermilk)

Bake in moderate oven (180ºC) until cooked, approx. ½  hour. Break or cut into  rusks and place in warm oven (100ºC) and leave over-night.


6 cups nutty wheat

3 cups cake flour

2 cups milk

30 ml baking powder

10 ml salt

500 g margarine

Melt margarine. Mix all other ingredients and add milk. Lastly add melted margarine. Stir very well. Knead dough slightly. Press into greased flat oven pan. Cut before baking. Bake at 1600C for 40 minutes and dry out in cool oven.


Mix together:

4 cups nutty wheat

7 ml salt

5 ml bicarb

Add:       250 ml milk, warmed with

 12,5 ml honey

250 ml water

190 ml yoghurt

Bake for 1 ½  — 2 hours at 1800c.



12 cups sugar

Pinch salt

4 cups water

Boil, and as it starts boiling, remove from heat and add:

25 ml. Lemon juice

5 ml ginger

1 ml. cream of tartar


4 cups flour

1 egg (well beaten)

5 ml salt

500 ml milk

22 ml baking powder

12,5 ml. margarine

Mix all ingredients (dry) together. Rub margarine into dry ingredients. Add egg mixed with milk - it becomes a third mixture. Roll out on floured board, cut, plait, and fry in deep oil, then dip immediately into lukewarm syrup. They freeze beautifully.


500 ml S.R. flour

25 ml sugar

65 ml. oil

1 egg, beaten and add to oil to make up to 1 cup with milk

Mix all ingredients together with spoon and spoon onto tray. Cook for 10—12 minutes at 2200C.


500 g. flour

1 beer (warm off the shelf)

Salt to taste

Oil (to knead with)

1 bread loaf tin

Use No 3 flat—bottomed pot


1. Mix flour, salt and beer together to a stiff dough. Rub hands with a little oil.

2. Knead dough gently to shape, place in bread tin, leave to stand for 5 mins.

3. Heat potjie pot on coals and then place the tin jn the hot pot.

4. The lid of the potjie pot must be inverted. Place a few coals on the lid. This browns the bread on top.

5. Leave to cook for about 45 mins. Must be eaten the same day.


1 c flour

1 egg

2 c oil

Use No 3 flat-bottomed pot

pinch salt 125 ml milk


1. Sift flour and salt.

2. Beat egg and milk and add to dry ingredients to form smooth batter.

3. Heat oil in potjie and drop spoonfuls into hot 011.

4. Fry for 2 or 3 mins until brown. Serve with butter, jam or syrup.


2 c. flour

1 t salt

1 t dry mustard

115 g Holsum

100 ml cold water

3 T chopped parsley

1     Sift flour salt and mustard. Add chopped parsley.

2     Rub in the fat and add water, a little at a time to form a soft dough and shape into small balls. Place in any stew in potjie. Cover pot and simmer for 30 mins.


1. c water

1 T salt

3 c mealie-meal

4. 1 T butter

5. 2 t olive oil


1. Boil water then add salt.

2. Add mealie-rneal and stir until mixture is fairly thick.

3. Add butter and olive oil. Fold in well.

4. Steam on low heat, with the lid on, for 30 mins.

5. Avoid lifting lid too often as this will stop the pap from rising.


6    c wholewheat flour

2    c khune flour

2    t bi-carb

2    T brown sugar or honey

2    T oil

2    c sunflower seeds and raisins mixed

2    t mixed spice

1    pinch salt

2    x 500ml plain yoghurt/maas


1    Mix all ingredients together.

2    Place in two large loaf tins.

3    Bake for one hour at 170º


2    c flour

½ c of each: sugar, butter, golden syrup and boiling water

1    t bi-carb

pinch salt

1    Level desertsp. each: cinnamon, ground ginger, molasses

1    t vanilla essence

½   t almond essence

1    Melt butter.

2    Add boiling water and bi-carb

3    Add sugar and syrup.

4    Add rest of ingredients.

5    Heat oven to 200 O C. Place cake in and reduce heat to 180ºC.


1 kg Nutty wheat                               2 T sugar
3 t salt                                                1 T molasses
3 t dry yeast                                       1 L warm water

Mix until firm but not too wet. Place in greased pan0and allow to rise for 1½ h.

Bake in 200º C (400º F) oven for 1 hour.

I add sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and wheat-germ etc., but this varies with taste. It is a flexible recipe and of course the more you add, the longer you cook. I often take the bread out of the tin after an hour and leave it in so that the bottom may brown.

KALARARI BROWN BREAD If wrapped in plastic ours lasted 3/4 weeks without refrigeration and absolutely de1icious toasted over the braai fire in the Kalahari.

Yeast mixture:

1 T brown sugar - Dissolve. Place in warm area to rise.

3 t dried yeast 

2 c luke warm water 

10 c flour (whole-wheat, Khune, Nutty Wheat small portion white - 2 c

2 T cooking oil

2 T honey/molasses/treacle

2 T salt

1 c sunflower seeds

Add yeast mixture and enough luke warm water to mix to a quite moist consistency + 3 c. Mix well and put into well oiled loaf tins. Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Bake at 2000C (4000F) for 1 h. Remove from tins while hot.


2 c flour                                             ½ t salt
4 t baking powder                             1 egg (beaten) and

                                                          add water.

Mix egg and water mixture into dry ingredients, to a consistency of scone dough (not too stiff) Flour hands and lightly roll blobs of dough into balls. Bake until risen and brown.


CHOLLA BREAD (makes 3 loaves)

4c cake flour                                     1 cake yeast

2 small t salt                                      1 t sugar

l egg                                                  l T oil

Cream yeast and sugar. Add 2 c tepid water, oil and beaten egg. Put flour and salt in a bowl, add liquid and mix to a soft dough, adding more flour or water as necessary. Leave to rise 1 h. Shape into French loaves or plaits, let rise until double. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake at 220 C (425 F) for about 20 mins.


5 c minced raw green mealies

1 beaten egg                                     salt

2 T sugar                                           2 T butter

1 t baking powder

2 T chopped chives or 1 T chopped onion

Mix altogether and put in a greased pudding basin, leaving about an inch at the top for the bread to rise. Cover with greaseproof paper or foil and steam for about 2½ h. Serve hot or cold, cut into slices and spread with butter. If mealies are on the hard side add ½ c milk. (Several may be made in advance and frozen. Reheat in basin when needed on holiday.)

Variation :            For ordinary Mealie Bread leave out the chives or onions.


2 c Bread flour

1 large plain yoghurt

1½ t brown sugar or honey

2 c Khune flour or whole-wheat flour

1 t heaped bicarb

1 t salt

Mix all together well, bake at 180ºC (350ºF) for 1 hour.


300 ml meelblom

10 ml Bakpoeier

sout en peper

25 ml kook olie

125 — 250 ml water of melk

1 eier

(2 — 4 porsies)

Meng alles saam — moet nie te veel roer nie. Bak deeg in ‘n pan met deksel wat liggies gesmeer is met die oormatige hitte totdat blasies bo—op deeg vorm (ongeveer 4 minute). Draai om en bak tot gaar. Bedien soos verkies.


Gerasperde kaas, gekapte spekvleis en gekapte uie kan by die deeg gevoeg word.


2 eggs                                                2 c flour
60 g soft margarine                           1 c brown sugar
250 g fruit or dates                            ¼  t nutmeg
      (chopped small)                           ½  t cinnamon
3 t baking powder                              ½ c milk

Flavouring :             1 t vanilla essence grated lemon rind

Put all ingredients into bowl and beat well for 3 mins. Put mixture in a greased loaf tin. Bake at 180 C (350 F) for 1 h.


(very economical)

125 g self-raising flour

30 g margarine



60 g brown sugar

2 t cinnamon

Rub margarine into flour. Add milk to make a soft dough. Roll out to an oblong. Rub surface with water and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up as Swiss roll and cut in— to very thick slices. Steam for ½ h.

Caramel sauce:

60 g white sugar

143 ml boiling water

Put sugar and 2 T water into a heavy pan and brown. Draw aside and add remainder of water gradually.


1 kg wholewheat flour          10 g dried yeast

1 heaped teasp. sugar          Warm water

2 tablesp. cooking oil            Pinch salt

Add sugar and yeast to warm water and allow to stand for approximately 15 minutes to froth. Add to flour and salt with oil.

Mix well, adding extra warm water if necessary and knead till elastic. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm place.

Knock down and knead again. Form into flat round cakes. Allow to rise slightly again. Place carefully on braai grid (after meat has been braaied) over slow coals. Turn regularly till cooked.


(Eet saam met braaivleis)

2 pakkies bruismeel              250 g margarien
1 plat teelepel sout                1 eier

Melk of water

Voeg sout by meel en vryf margarien goed in. Klits eier in vloeistof en knie by meel tot redelike stywe deeg. Knyp stukkies deeg af en druk plat met hande. Braai op matige kole tot gaar.


2 cups flour                           2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch salt

Mix with milk and water to dropping consistency. Drop spoonfuls into hot oil. Cook on all sides. Drain well.

Buttermilk bread

1 carton buttermilk Salt to taste

1 packet self-raising flour

Mix ingredients well. Put into grease-proof paper-lined pan. Bake at 1600 C for l hour.

Scone loaf

(nice and easy)

2 cups flour                           ¾ cup milk
¾ cup sugar                          1 tea sp. baking powder
½ cup sultanas                      2 oz margarine (60 g)
1 egg                                     Pinch salt

Mix flour, sugar and salt. Rub in margarine, add sultanas and baking powder. Beat egg in milk and mix. Mixture is fairly stiff. Bake for ½-~/4 hour at 180~ C. Butter and serve hot.

Butterscotch bread

2 cups flour                           ½ cup chopped walnuts or
1 tea sp. baking powder        pecans
½  tea sp. bicarb                   2 well-beaten eggs
1 cup brown sugar                1 cup buttermilk
Salt                                        2 table sp. melted butter

Mix dry ingredients. Add sugar and nuts. Mix eggs, buttermilk and butter. Add to dry ingredients mixing just to moisten. Bake in loaf pan at 1800 C for 1 hour. Allow to stand overnight before cutting.

Welsh Barabrith fruit loaf

625 g mixed fruit — soaked overnight in l cup cold tea


250 g self-raising flour          1 beaten egg
250 g sugar                           1 tea sp. mixed spice

Mix well and turn into a well-greased loaf tin. Bake at

1800 C for 1-1¼ hours.

Raisin bread (or sultanas)

4 cups flour, brown or           1 tea sp. salt
white                                      ½ cup sugar
8 tea sp. baking powder        1 egg
2/3 cup seedless raisins

2 cups milk

Sift together dry ingredients. Add raisins. Add beaten egg and milk. Put into greased loaf tin. Bake 190º C for 1 hour.

Mosbolletjies A. Horn

3 koppies melk, 2 koppies suiker, 125 g botter Kook bogenoemde bestanddele saam en laat afkoel tot lou.

Maak aan:

4 koppies lou water, 2 eetlepels suiker, 2 hoogvol teelepels korreltjie-suurdeeg

Voeg suurdeegmengsel by afgekoelde melkmengsel. Voeg 3 geklitste eiers by.

Sif ± 2,5 kg koekmeel, anys en sout in en knie tot ‘n nie te sagte deeg. Laat oornag rys.

Knie volgende oggend goed, plaas in panne en laat goed vol rys. Bak ± 1 uur by 1800 C.

Louwaterbeskuit M. Conradie

2 kg bruismeel                      3 eiers
500 g suiker                          3 tot 3½ koppies louwater
Sout                                       (nie te koud nie)
500 g margarien

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