[Podcast Episode 50] Did you know Paul was blowing the minds of the wise men of Athens long before he talked about the Resurrection? We look as his first statements about who God is and then move to the kitchen to fluff up some bread!
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Acts 17, Paul’s Sermon to the Greeks Thought One
Acts 17:24-25 The God who made the universe and everything in it, and who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in man-made temples; nor is he served by human hands, as if he lacked something; since it is he himself who gives life and breath and everything to everyone. Complete Jewish Bible
Universe or “world” in many translations is translated from the Greek word cosmos.
Right there Paul was saying the God he was presenting was something totally different from the other gods they had known. Here’s how Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research put it:
That “basic substance” out of which all things have evolved is said to have been the primeval watery chaos which had existed from eternity. From this evolved the gods and goddesses who produced everything else.
Paul dropped a bombshell with his teaching of a God who existed before creation, reaches beyond it, and maintains the universe with his power rather than the other way around!
Yeast and other Leavening Agents
Of course the best experiments with yeast are done while you are cooking. Pizza dough, rolls, and bread are the tastiest ways to discover the smell and fluffiness of these microbes. But, if you want to be purely scientific, you can try this experiment to see how much gas a colony of fungus can produce.
Want to grow your own Sourdough culture? You can purchase a variety that will help you recreate the taste of bread from around the world.
Here’s where I learned what makes a “sour” dough different from regular yeast:
Sourdough Home.com “In the classic San Francisco sourdough, the yeast doesn’t eat maltose, one of the starches in flour. However, the lactobacillus bacteria do. In all sourdough cultures, the lactobacillus makes the culture quite acidic, and that acidity acts as an antibiotic, keeping stray bacteria and yeast out. Few yeast strains can survive in a sourdough culture.”
Baking Soda and Baking Powder
Now we move from the microscope room to the chemical lab.
Want to try mummifying something (in this case a hot dog) like the ancient Egyptians? The Natron they used for their drying process was partly made of Baking Soda.
You can learn the history of our modern use of Sodium Bicarbonate for puffing up baked goods at Made How.com.
In the 1800s chemists took this chemical reaction farther with Baking Powder. Alfred Bird used his skills in the lab to make life easier for his wife who was allergic to both eggs and yeast. I suppose even using his inventions to earn the family some extra money didn’t bother her any either!
The History of Baking Powder at What’s Cooking America
BTW Bird is more famous in the UK for his invention of an eggless custard!