Jan 29, 2010

Grandma's Kitchen: A Bakery for Leavened and Unleavened Bread

The aroma filled the kitchen, then permeated the whole house when Grandma had bake day and it was almost always on Saturday. Yeast baking was very popular as it produced fresh buns, bread, sweet buns or platz base for Sunday “Faspa”. Working with yeast was an art and also biblical as it was referred to as leavened bread. It was important to know how to treat leavened bread dough with tenderness and gentleness. The concept of leaven is quoted in 3 verses: Matthew 13:33, 1 Corinthians 5:7 and Galatians 5:9; A little leaven leavens the whole mass; It is compared to spiritual renewal and growing. A powerful comparison to Christ, the leaven in us.
The unleavened bread is also compared to the biblical concept of Christ’s body. He sacrificed for us.

It was unleavened bread that was used in the early communion service. I share with you the story of our mother who was given the responsibility of making “br├Âtchen”.

In our church community, when I was a child, there was one Bishop and one deacon. Twice a year they traveled to four congregations to deliver and serve communion. Our dad, Henry Koop was the deacon and his wife. my mother, was to prepare the communion bread. So on Saturday afternoon it was time to make the bread.

A clean apron was put on, a prayer was said, the dough prepared (no yeast) and then the dough rolled out. The edges of the baking pan had a dough border so that the individual mini breads would not touch the pan. With a thimble, top cut out, mini individual breads were pressed out, laid carefully along the edge of the dough on the pan and pushed into a neat row with a large wooden depressor. Approximately 100 mini breads were made and baked. When cooled, they were wrapped in a clean, white cloth and boxed. It was important that everything was kept clean. Leftover bread was burned because the bread was blessed by the church and that made it “holy” bread, to be taken only by baptized believers.

Leavened or unleavened bread is a beautiful aroma in any kitchen. Grandmas were anxious to pass on the art.

Watch for 4 recipes for baking with yeast. Enjoy.

Marlene Froese

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