Baking Bread with Brother Bear (Part III)

SourDough1In this next discussion on bread, we are going to talk a bit about salt.

Bread in its most basic components, needs salt. It needs salt for flavor development in the wheat.
Aside from the type of flour types being used or any other “additives” that would be there to make additions to the bread, salt is just needed. Otherwise the bread is bland, and tastes like paste.

Salt is a balancing act, in baking bread, and in life. Too much salt in the bread. and it will ruin the bread, too little and the bread will be bland and no one will want to eat it.

Salt, it is the mineral people love to hate, to love. Salt is one of those things you can’t do without, and you don’t want too much of. The World Heath Organization says that they recommend about 5 grams a salt per day per person. Generally, people tend to consume a bit more than this.

It has been said that nomads of biblical times did not need to consume salt because they subsisted on the meat from their herds and blocks. An animals tissues contain salt, where as in other places there the diet consisted of mostly plant based nutrition, needed to add salt to their diets for healthy life because their diets had less salt due to not consuming any meat.

Just in case you thought your life was difficult because you had to go get your salt from the store, in biblical times, salt was gotten by putting seawater into little indentations in rock and when the seawater evaporated and the salt was harvested from there.

Salt is used not only as flavoring or seasoning, but also as disinfectant, and preservative.

Saline is used to pump fluids into the body in hospitals, it is used as irrigation and cleanser for wounds. It is used to balance electrolytes in the system and has a normative effect.

Salt is used as a preservative for foods, in drying meats, and in canned foods etc.

Salt can be viewed as one of the basic components of life for all animals ( including the human animal ).

In the Bible, there are several references to salt, in 2 Chronicles 13:5 King Abijah, King of Judah stood on Mount Zemarain, and said to his enemy, “Do you not know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given David kingship over Israel forever, to him and to his sons, by a covenant of salt? ”

In this case salt is used as a description of the Davidic covenant, the salt covenant is a covenant that could not be changed and would last forever.

IN this same vein, in Leviticus 2:13 we find Salt used as part of the Hebrew sacrificial practices
” You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not let the salt of the covenant with your God* be lacking from your grain offering. On every offering you shall offer salt.”

This shows how valuable salt was in biblical times, that is was included in the offerings as sacrifice.

In the New Testament of course the most salient reference to salt is in the the Sermon on the Mount.
in Matthew 5:13 we read “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.”

In this sermon, the Lord is telling us that WE are the salt of the earth, and we are the light of the world.
We are told that we are to be light and salt, but what does that really say to us ? How does it apply to us ?

The Salt that is gone bad.. is useless, it can not be used for anything and gets tossed. WE are that salt.
a Christian, whose faith does not change them, who does not practice their faith, who does not LIVE their faith, whose faith does not “flavor” their lives, and the lives of those they come in contact with, is not living a useful life from a spiritual perspective.

We are disciples of Christ are to be gathered, like salt. We gather every week, or every day, as often as possible, just like the salt that was harvested from the Dead sea, from the waters, we are gathered we are warmed by the Son’s rays.. we are filled with flavor and light and then we are sprinkled around within our own daily lives, and flavor the world within which we live.

Salt is precious to the one who possesses it. We are precious to God. Salt is used judiciously to bring out the very best in the bread it is used. If we open ourselves to Gods will, then He will use us, to bring out the very best in the world and in us.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

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