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At some stage in the Neolithic era people had learned that if, instead of using ordinary grain, they used grain that had been sprouted and then dried, it made a bread that kept unusually well. The Egyptian process was to sprout the grain, dry it , crush it, mix it to a dough and partially bake it.The loaves were then broken up and put to soak in water, where they were allowed to ferment for about a day before the liquor was strained off and considered ready for drinking." ---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press: New York] 1988 (p.48) "Leavening, according to one theory, was discovered when some yeast spores--the air is full of them, especially in a bakehouse that is also a brewery--drifted onto a dough that had been set aside for a while before baking; the dough would rise, not very much, perhaps, but enough to make the bread lighter and more appetizing than usual, and afterwards, as so often in the ancient world, inquiring minds set about the task of reproducing deliberately a process that had been discovered by accident.
In Jerusalem there was a bakers' quarter where bread was baked in tiers of stone-built ovens, or furnaces as they were called in the Bible.The upper part, accessible from the top, was the baking chamber.An oven of similar shape, but often constructed of hollowed stone instead of clay, was used by the early Jews.Larger, bi-level ovens have been unearthed which would have been more suitable for baking commercial quantities.They have a top rack to hold the loaves, while the fire below is stoked with "the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven..." (Mt. These baking techniques and others were known to the Romans, whose own commercial bakeries were not established unitl a relatively late date (171-168 B. Once Roman administrative genius was applied to even so commonplace a task as breadmaking, the results would be impressive." ---The Bible Cookbook, Daniel S. 371) About ancient Roman ovens "Many kitchens had an oven, furnus, sometimes called a fornax...There is an alternate theory regarding the invention of brewing.
Some historians believe it is possible that brewing began when the first cereal crops were domesticated.The Jews also had fixed ovens in some of their houses, frequently in the main rooms.These ovens or hearths took the form of clay-covered hollows in the floor which were heated with burning wood.Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, Volume 1 [Cambridge University Press: Cambridge] 2000 (p.619-620) "It seems that the discovery of ale was stimulated by the process of bread-making.51-52) "The brewing of beer may well have occurred soon after the production of cereal crops, and no doubt for a long time beer was home-produced and in the hands of housewives responsible for preparing the gruel or bread..first production of beer may be reasonably considered as an accidental discovery resulting for the malting of grain for other purposes." ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins: Maryland] 1998 (p.