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Bread. The preparation of bread as an article of food dates from a very early period. Gen. 18:6. The corn or grain employed was of various sorts. The best bread was made of wheat, but “barley” and spelt were also used. John 6:9, 13; Isa. 28:25. The process of making bread was as follows: the flour was first mixed with water or milk; it was then kneaded with the hands (in Egypt with the feet also) in a small wooden bowl or “kneading-trough” until it became dough. Ex. 12:34, 39; 2 Sam. 13:3; Jer. 7:18. When the kneading was completed, leaven was generally added [Leaven]; 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; Judges 6:19; 1 Sam. 28:24. The leavened mass was allowed to stand for some time, Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21; the dough was then divided into round cakes, Ex. 29:23; Judges 7:13; 8:5; 1 Sam. 10:3; Prov. 6:26, 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. 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, 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. 7:13, or dried grass and flower-stalks. Matt. 6:30.


Egyptian Loaves and Seed Bread.