Kneading - Trough
(משׁאֶרֶת, mishe'reth, so called from the feirmentation of the dough), the vessel in Which the materials of the bread, after being mixed and leavened, is left to swell (Ex 8:3; Ex 12:34, rendered " store" in De 28:5,17); probably like the wooden bowl used by the modern Arabs for the same purpose. On the monuments of Egypt we find the various processes of making bread represented with great minuteness. Men were chiefly occupied in it, as with us at the present day. Their grain was ground in hand-mills, or pounded in mortars, and then kneaded into dough, which was sometimes done by the hand, in a large circular bowl, or in a trough with the feet (Wilkinson, Anc. qg. i, 174-6). SEE BAKE. The process of making bread in Egypt is now generally performed in villages by women, among whom proficiency in that art is looked upon as a sort of accomplishment. Except in large towns, each family bakes its own bread, which is usually made into small cakes and eaten new, the climate not admitting of its being kept long without turning sour. When the dough is sufficiently kneaded, it is made up into a round flat cake, generally about a span in width, and a finger's breadth in thickness. SEE CAKE. A fire of straw and dung is then kindled on the floor or hearth, which, when sufficiently heated, is removed, and the dough being placed on it, and covered with hot embers, is thus soon baked. Sometimes a circle of small stones is placed upon the hearth after it has been heated, into which some paste is poured, and covered with hot embers: this produces a kind of biscuit. SEE OVEN. "The modern Oriental kneading-troughs, in which the dough is prepared, have no resemblance to ours in size or shape. As one person does not bake bread for many families, as in our towns, and as one family does not bake bread sufficient for many days, as in our villages, but every family bakes for the day only the quantity of bread which it requires, but a comparatively small quantity of dough is prepared. This is done in small wooden bowls, and that those of the ancient Hebrews were of the same description as those now in use appears from their being able to carry them, together with the dough, wrapped up in their cloaks, upon their shoulders without difficulty. The Bedouin Arabs, indeed, use for this purpose a leather, which can be drawn up into a bag by a running cord along the border, and in which they prepare and often carry their dough. This might equally, and in some respects better answer the described conditions; but, being especially adapted to the use of a nomade and tent- dwelling people, it is more likely that the Israelites, who were not such at the time of the Exode, then used the wooden bowls for their 'kneading- troughs' (Ex 8:3; Ex 12:34; De 28:5,7). It is clear, from the history of the departure from Egypt, that the flour had first been made into a dough by water only, in which state it had been kept some little time before it was leavened; for when the Israelites were unexpectedly (as to the moment) compelled in all haste to withdraw, it was found that, although the dough had been prepared in the kneading-trough, it was still unleavened (Ex 12:34; compare Ho 7:4); and it was in commemoration of this circumstance that they and their descendants in all ages were enjoined to eat only unleavened bread at the feast of the Passover." SEE BREAD.