|As we prepare for Lord’s Supper/Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, people usually ask about products that contain leavening. Of course as we de-leaven our homes the most important focus is on our spiritual relationship with God & the greater task of becoming unleavened ourselves.
Look for Leavening
During Unleavened Bread we are to have no leaven or leavened products in our home (Exodus 12:15; Exodus 12:19; Exodus 13:7).
Leaven is a food additive, which causes bread or bread products to rise. The apostle Paul used this property of leaven to teach Christians that a “puffed up” attitude is sin (compare 1 Corinthians 5:2 with 1 Corinthians 5:6-7).
Leaven includes yeast, a biological leavening agent that produces fermentation, and chemical leavening agents such as baking powder, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and potassium bicarbonate.
Items such as bread, cake, crackers, cookies and prepared cereals and pies that contain leavening must be put out (check the ingredient list). Doing this is symbolic of putting both the visible and hidden sins out of our lives.
Leaven is any agent that produces fermentation and causes dough to rise, by causing the formation of carbon dioxide gas to bubble into and spread throughout the dough. This is accomplished either chemically (as with baking soda) or biologically (as with yeast).
• Baking Soda: a crystalline alkaline salt that gives off gas when an acid is added.
• Sodium bicarbonate, also known as “Saleratus.”
• Potassium bicarbonate, or potash.
• Ammonium carbonate, or “baker’s ammonia.”
• Ammonium bicarbonate, also known as “hartshorn.”
• Baking Powder (baking soda + acid-forming ingredients + starch filler).
• Sourdough starter (a wild yeast colony that is maintained with flour and moisture).
• Yeast (a single-celled fungi, used to leaven).
* Autolyzed yeast: A yeast that has ‘self-destructed’ and is sterile – incapable of leavening.
* Brewers Yeast: A dead form of yeast that cannot leaven bread; a ‘nutritional’ yeast.
* Torula Yeast: A dead yeast that cannot leaven bread, considered a ‘nutritional’ yeast. Also hickory smoked torula yeast. Used as a savory seasoning that imparts smoky aroma to foods.
* Yeast extract(s): Derivatives of yeast, which are sterile and cannot leaven bread.
* Alum: A metallic double salt, usually added with cream of tartar. Most common is sodium aluminum sulfate (SAS or sulfate powder), and potassium aluminum sulfate (or potash alum). By itself this is not leavening.
* Sorbitan monosterate: A flavor and texture enhancer. Not leaven of itself.
* Sodium Caseinate: A milk protein, not a leaven
* Sodium Silicoaluminate: A fine powder that is used to keep cocoa, salt and other products dry, not a leaven
* Polysorbate 60: A preservative; not a leaven.
* Egg whites: Not a leavening agent. While beaten egg white can be stirred into dough, it does not spread through dough as leavening does and is not leavening.
* Steam or air (such as in popovers or angel food cake). The same principle as egg whites (above) applies; there is no leavening agent mixed through the dough.
As the season is almost here, we are busy cleaning the leavening out of our life. To help assist with these tasks, we put together a checklist that you can download and print out. We encourage you to review this checklist to help find all the places leaven may be “hidden” throughout our homes, cars, offices, etc.
There are spiritual lessons that we learn from doing physical things. God gives us physical things to help us learn spiritual lessons. When it comes to putting leavening out, it’s hard work, it takes elbow grease to uncover and scrub away all of that leavening and the same thing is true when it comes to working against sin. It takes a step-by-step, organized process. During this time of the year God wants us to have a deep cleansing, not just a superficial wiping. It takes more than a lick and a promise to get rid of sin.
We encourage you to take the time and have the kind of feast that’s literally a life altering Days of Unleavened Bread.