23 February 2015

Fasting Bread...for Lent

Right after college I first became familiar with the idea of fasting more personally when I went to Medjugorje. Although this Marian apparition site is not officially approved by the Church, I still am grateful for my experience of going there and how much it strengthened my faith. 

One of the 5 weapons the Blessed Mother recommends against evil is through her messages is fasting (oh great!) on bread and water both on Wednesdays and Friday. Whenever I had fasted in the past, it always seemed by lunch time I was craving a cheeseburger with a chocolate or something equally delicious.

But when I was in Medjurgorje, I really began to think about fasting differently. This and that book really helped challenge me and stretch me on this ancient spiritual practice. When I came home, I actually for time did fast on bread and water once a week. Though it is not something I still live out in my spiritual life, I was re-reminded of its great power when Jim told me on Wednesday's of Lent he wanted to fast on bread and water.

So on our Saturday date night, we decided to put some aprons on and make a batch of fasting bread...
This recipe was taken from Sr. Emmanuel's book, "Healing and Liberation Through Fasting". Its very hearty and sustains one who is fasting on bread and water.


Ingredients
3 cups white flour
4 cups wheat flour
1 package of yeast
1/2 cup of warm water
2 cups boiling water
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup almonds or walnuts (we didn't have any but used dried cranberries instead)
1 cup plain oats
1// In a medium sized bowl, dissolves yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Cover with plate and wait a few minutes until bubbly.

2// In a large bowl, combine the flours, Make a well in the flour and add the yeast mixture. Mix just slightly.













3// Again use the medium bowl to combine the salt, sugar, melted butter, oil, raisins, nuts or dried cranberries, 1 beaten egg, and 2 cups of boiling water. Pour this over the yeast mixture. Knead the dough, adding flour and water as needed.
Adding some holy water from our bad a@$
St. Michael the Archangel sprayer



#breadmakingnewbie
punching also is a great alternative to kneading...
















4// Knead the dough until comes clean from the bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and let it rise for 10 minutes. Knead a little bit more.


5// Place mixture in a well greased bowl and cover, letting it rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).


6// Form in loaves. We got two large loaves out of the mixture.


7// Place on greased pan. Brush the top with any remaining egg and sprinkle with oats or poppy seeds, if desired.


8// Bake at 375 for 35 minutes


Fasting is like spiritual dynamite, it has great power. It is a weapon, a tool against all the evil and temptations we are up against in this world. Just watching my husband take up this ancient spiritual practice has reminded of the great power fasting and prayer have together...and why it is something to practice in living the Christian life.

Goodbye cheeseburgers and malts, hello hearty fasting bread!! :)



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