Saints, Feast, Family
- Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring -
Saint of the day:
Ruth the Matriarch & Loyal Daughter-In-Law
Saint Ruth's Story
Old Testament matriarch, and the subject of the Old Testament Book of Ruth. Born to a pagan family, she married a Jewish man. Widowed, she was facing starvation when her mother-in-law, Naomi, urged her to return to her own people. But Ruth declared that the people of God were now her people, their God her God, and she returned to Israel. She married Boaz, and became a mother. Her great-grandson was King David, and further down the family tree was Jesus.
Ruth was a widow who showed remarkable faith. She traveled a difficult journey with her widowed mother-in-law to live in Bethlehem. Despite her tremendous loss, Ruth firmly believed that God would provide for her.
She is a model of bravery, faith and obedience.
Tomb of Jesse and Ruth in Hebron
Exodus 34:6 ...compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, overflowing with loyal love and faithfulness
Khesed: (Psalm 118) Love! This love is steadfast, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and loyal love. And in the story of Ruth one can see her loyal love. Ruth, an immigrant, loses her husband and children but decides to stay committed to her mother-in-law, which is described as an act of khesed (Ruth 1:8 Ruth 1:8; 3:10). These acts of khesed can be seen throughout the Bible, but the one who shows the most khesed is God.
For the dough
800 g all-purpose flour
432 g water room temp
3 g instant yeast
10 g white sugar
13 g kosher salt or sea salt
32 g butter melted
For the wash
3 Tbsp dry milk
2 Tbsp water or as needed
Add the flour and the rest of the dough ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should come together in a ball. The dough should be fairly stiff.
Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a large mixing bowl, cover with a damp towel or a piece of plastic and ferment at room temperature for 4-5 hours, or until it increases about 2.5-3 times in volume.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, shape each piece into a ball, press down to flatten into round disks, cover and proof for 30-40 minutes.
After the proofing is done, stretch each disk more, to about 8 inches, making the centers thinner than the outer parts.
You can also make the center thinner using an Uzbek bread press.
You may use something similarly shaped, like the back of a glass, to flatten the centers.
Using a chekich, stamp the center of the disk to add a pattern.
You can use a fork to add the pattern if you don't have chekich. Prickling the center with a chekich or a fork will also prevent the center from puffing up during baking.
Using a larger bread stamp, stamp the outer parts of the dough disks. You can use the back of a knife to add a similar pattern. Gently lift each disk from both sides to make sure there is no sticking. It will make it much easier to load the disks into the oven. It's also best to use a wooden work surface to minimize sticking. If not, lightly dust the surface with flour.
Prepare the milk wash by whisking the powdered milk with water. Brush with the milk wash. Optionally, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Grab a bunch of paper towels and fold as shown in the picture; this will be your 'loading pillow'. It's a crude version of what Uzbek bakers use to load bread in tandyrs, but it works great.
Gently put the pillow on top of each disk of the dough, pick one side of the disk and flip the dough onto the pillow as shown in the picture. The brushed part of the dough will be facing the pillow.
Then flip back onto the pre-heated baking stone.
Bake at 425F with convection for 10-12 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown, as shown in the picture. Enjoy hot from the oven or cooled down to room temperature. The bread will stay fresh for 2-3 days.