Sight Magazine – Table Talk: Bread and the Bible


Ground coffee. Mowed lawn. A gentle salty ocean breeze. Freshly baked bread. For some reason, these scents trigger something deep within us, making us feel happy, satisfied, and sometimes even hungry! For me, the smell of baked bread has to be number one. The crispy crust, revealing the soft, moist center. Accompany it with soft cheese and charcuterie, a glass of chilled sav blanc, and I’m in heaven.

Not only delicious to eat, bread is used symbolically in the Bible 492 times. It represents the life, provision, salvation and presence of God on Earth.


430g plain white flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
345g lukewarm water
1 1/4 tsp salt

1. Mix the ingredients with a spoon until they form a choppy heap, rest for 12-18 hours, then stretch and fold several times and form a loose ball.
2. Rest another two hours in a heavily floured kitchen towel in a colander (or similar).
3. Heat the oven with a covered casserole style pan with lid to 250 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes (or however long it takes to get really hot).
4. Place the bread in the pot. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then 15 to 20 minutes without the lid until the crust is dark brown.
5. Resist the urge to eat immediately. Leave to cool a little.

We all know the story of Moses freeing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. God’s provision for them was great. Not only was he delivering them from captivity, but he was demonstrating that he had a plan, a miraculous but also practical path to freedom. God’s love and concern for their safety was revealed as he taught them how to bake their bread…in a hurry! No yeast for this recipe.

Once in the desert, the dough ran out, but God’s supply lasted in a supernatural way, providing His people with manna, bread, from Heaven. This incredible offering is described in Exodus 16:31: “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white as coriander seeds and tasted like pancakes made with honey. »

Delicious! Bread is central to depicting God’s presence and love on Earth, but it was also a way for his people to show their love and loyalty to God. The grain offering in the Old Testament had two functions. First, it was a way of thanking God for his provision, since agriculture was a vital part of the Israelites’ economy, sacrificial giving was and still is an act of worship. The second was to feed the priest who lived and served God in the temple. Another act of provision!

God’s concern for the welfare of his people is represented by grain and bread throughout the Bible, a vital element of which Jesus himself was well aware. Jesus’ birthplace was deliberately chosen to fulfill prophecy, but also as another symbol of God’s love and provision for the world. In fact, Bethlehem means ‘House of Bread’. How amazing that the Savior of the world, the ‘Bread of Life’, the one who fed the hungry, not only physically but spiritually, was born in this place.

The bread followed Jesus throughout his ministry, including feeding 5,000 people with only five loaves and two fish and at the Last Supper where he taught the disciples that from that night onwards the bread would represent his body, broken and sacrificed for the salvation of all.

It is beautiful that God knows how to speak to people at their level. Bread is used in the Bible to speak to people of the time in a way that would be familiar to them. It was a vital and invigorating part of their lives.

Jesus warned against the “leaven of the Pharisees,” a term the people would have immediately understood. It was a warning against the growing influence of the corrupt practices of these religious leaders.

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There are so many examples of bread at the center of the Bible, but the one that stands out for all the wrong reasons is the less than delicious recipe given to Ezekiel for making bread, using human excrement as fuel for the fire. Full of symbolism and meaning, it wasn’t the tastiest of recipes – no honey or spices in this creation.

So we’re going to bypass that offer for this month’s recipe. We like to bake bread at home. It may seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to be a real blue-eyed baker to make top-quality bread at home; just a little time.

Before you know it, these amazing, bliss-inducing aromas will also be wafting through your home. One of the best things about this recipe, besides no kneading, is that you can add your own twist…garlic, rosemary, or even Parmesan cheese. It’s quite indulgent, fun and delicious!


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