Monday, December 19, 2011

Joseph

fourth in a series


     Now we come to Joseph.  He is a fairly interesting character in that the poor guy was sort of along for the ride at this point.  An angel had explained to him that his fiancée was to bear a child and the child was to be the Son of the Most High.  Being a humble carpenter he surely must have wondered why he was chosen to raise the Prince of Peace.  In the Bible narrative we see that there was some questioning and consternation, but not for long.  This good and humble man watched over the birth of the Saviour and over the raising of the boy to manhood. 
     So what to prepare for Joseph?  Something simple and practical such as unleavened bread cakes.  According to Ben Sirach, who wrote a great deal about these times, a typical meal probably consisted of flat bread, olives, salt, milk and honey.  And if it had been a good week, some fish.  Red meat was pretty much unheard of in the standard diet.  Only on High Holy Days did you get a chance to eat meat.
     So, for Joseph in the manger the meal is unleavened brown bread, a common provision for travelers at the time.

Here is what you need:
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
additional flour for kneading
sesame oil for brushing

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add the water and mix to form a dough.  Place the dough on the counter and knead with additional flower until smooth and not sticky.  Cover the dough with a large mixing bowl directly on the counter.  Allow to rest for 2 hours.  Cut the dough into 8 pieces and form into balls.  Roll the dough balls into circles on a lightly floured surface.  Keep the dough covered with the bowl or plastic wrap when you are not working with it.  Brush the flat loaves with a little sesame oil.  The best method of cooking these is to bake them directly on baking tiles in a preheated 500 deg oven.  Bake a few minutes until the edges curl up.  You can also bake them on baking sheets.

Stay hungry

Peace

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