We used a new Haggadah this year at our family Seder. It included, among the familiar stories and prayers, a few intriguing historical notes. My favorite, of course, was about bread.
As the Gentiles among you may or may not know, Passover is the celebration of the Jews' escape from slavery in Egypt. During the week of Passover, more observant Jews than I eat only unleavened bread, or matzo, because, the story goes, our ancestors left in such a hurry there was no time for the bread to rise. The holiday is also the time for spring cleaning, when all traces of bread and flour are swept from the house, along with the dust of winter, to welcome a new season.
But, I learned from our new Haggadah, long before the Angel of Death passed over Egypt, farmers in the Middle East were celebrating the spring harvest with Khag Ha-Matzot, the festival of unleavened bread. Old dough, made from the last year's grain, was thrown out, and a celebratory bread was made from the new harvest. The old dough would have contained the wild yeast culture, carefully nurtured over the course of the year, with a little dough held back each bake to innoculate the next batch, and so the festival bread, made entirely of fresh grain, was unleavened. The Jews incorporated this agricultural tradition of renewal into Passover's celebration of a people's rebirth.
Passover ended last Tuesday, though, so don't worry. You can come sample today's bread and pastry lineup without guilt!
Today at Market:
Red & White, Mountain Rye, and Vollkornbrot (not smoky this week)
Bittersweet Chocolate and Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Orange Cream Raisin Rolls
Cardamom Rolls with yogurt-rose glaze
Bostock, made with orange syrup, raspberry jam, and hazelnut cream
and the last of the Granola until I get a new batch of oats
For Wednesday Order:
Red & White and Mountain Rye
Bauernlaib, a beautiful, Austrian rye boule
Bittersweet Chocolate Cookies
And I'm off to market.
See you soon!
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