Having to eat a bit of bread once a week - what to do?


I get what you are trying to say but that is not how it works. If you say the blessing over bread, you are supposed to eat bread. You do not have that affirmative duty if you only say Amen.

I would imagine there are other adults who can do the blessing. Assuming there are not, depends how old OP’s children are.Other than the Shemah (which has another purpose if you have ever read stories about the post Holocaust search for Jewish children left in monasteries), the bread blessing is among the most basic and most kids even in kindergarten should be able to recite it easily. If the kids are more religious they themselves have to say it during the week whenever they eat bread. It is also one of the first things most Jewish preschools will teach

(Joey) #22

“How it works” has been subject to respectful debate for millennia. Why stop the discussion short now?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #23

So when the rabbi says a blessing over the congregation, he is supposed to eat them? :rofl::rofl:

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. The Jewish men I’ve dated were Reform, and it sounds as though you are talking about Orthodox thinking. Besides, none of us were eating keto or carnivore at the time, so the question of not eating bread never actually came up.

I guess Christian theology on this point either moved away from its Judaic theological roots, or it evolved out of a strain of Judaism that didn’t have an influence on later Talmudic thinking, because the way I stated the principle might not have been rigorous, but it was essentially the Christian thinking on blessing things.

In fact, the Eucharist, one of the two central rites of Christian worship, evolved out of the mealtime customs of Jews two thousand years ago. It’s basically been stripped down to the blessing over the bread and the blessing over the wine, but the resonances with Jewish customs are unmistakable. But an alcoholic or gluten-intolerant priest who intends not to partake of one or the other, nevertheless still blesses both the bread and the wine. The meaning of the rite has been endlessly debated over the centuries, but everyone agrees that the priest or minister is presumed to be acting on behalf of everyone present, and not just in a personal capacity.

Anyway, it’s very interesting how these different perspectives can arise on matters that initially appear so simple. A metaphor for nutitional thinking, perhaps?

(Joey) #24

Loved your post.

Our own family reflects a stew of many mixed-faith traditions (makes for some surprising bedfellows) … along with a large agnostic/atheistic wing, whose shared dogma centers on discrete eye-rolling.

And yet, notwithstanding diversity, bagels and cream cheese have been “culturally appropriated” by every non-keto member of our extended clan. Go figure.


Yes a Jewish person who is reform probably would not worry about actually eating the Challah but I cannot speak to that. As I mentioned

The blessing over the congregation (before eating them!haha) would be an example of that!

I get what you are saying about still blessing the sacrament. I would imagine a non keto person who does not drink could have grape juice? What do they give the kids at their first communion?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #26

I was going to ask if I could join your family, but then I noticed the word “discrete.” Shucks! :rofl:

So nu? I used to work not far from one of the best bagel bakeries in Manhattan. They were just starting to come out of the oven when I walked by at 7:30. Heavenly with butter alone, even more heavenly with a schmear or some lox (or both). I suspect that, even in my current carnivore incarnation, I’d be sore tempted if I walked past that shop again, especially in the morning.

Fortunately for my way of eating, here in Connecticut the population doesn’t know from bagels. You should see what they think is a bagel, oy! :rofl:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #27

For theological reasons, it’s supposed to be bread and wine, because the working of the yeast in both makes a transformation in the ingredients that is a metaphor for how the Deity works in the world. Human beings put the ingredients together and the Lord mysteriously transforms them, which makes them ideal offerings in the Communion ritual.

I say it’s supposed to be bread, but generally parishes use these tasteless unleavened wafers that, as one bishop famously remarked, “It takes more faith to believe it’s bread than to believe it’s the Body of Christ.” The reason for not using real bread is that it’s considered really inconvenient and irreverent if a crumb from the Body of Christ should fall on the floor, and the wafers are virtually crumb-less. So in this case, practicality and misplaced reverence triumph over theology. At the monastery I belonged to for a while, we made leavened bread from a Jesuit recipe that created minimal crumbs (and actually tasted like bread to boot!).

There are such things as gluten-free wafers for those that need them, and yes, I’ve heard of parishes with a large number of recovering alcoholics making a grape juice alternative available. Or you could simply not drink; you are still considered to receive the benefit of the sacrament. As a carnivore, I don’t worry about the wafer; as a recovering alcoholic, I either take as small a sip as possible, or abstain, depending on the day and how I’m feeling.

“First Communion” is a big deal for Roman Catholics, especially those from Latin countries; I’m an Episcopalian, and we don’t make such a fuss. Parents decide when their child should start receiving Communion, at whatever age that might be, and I don’t recall anyone worrying that it’s wine. I don’t imagine that Catholics worry about it, either. In the Baptist church that I was raised in, we used real bread (well, okay, it was cubed Wonder Bread, oy!) and grape juice, since that strain of Protestantism is teetotal.


Thank you for the explanation, I had no idea! That Bishop has a good sense of humor!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #29

I’m glad you enjoyed the humour. We’ve strayed pretty far from how to stay keto at the Sabbath meal, however.

Is there by any chance a way of making low-carb challah? I used to enjoy making it myself, as a young man, but I’ve completely forgotten the recipe. I also wonder if it’s even possible to get a good rise when using a nut flour, since it doesn’t contain gluten. Does it have to be challah for any theological reason, or is challah simply customary? It’s certainly a nice, festive bread.

(Joey) #30

There are many Passover recipe books that feature non-flour “bakery” concoctions (flour-less cakes, macaroons, etc.) most of which rely on heavy use of eggs.

Perhaps there’s a flour-less challah recipe out there in such collections?

Since a central idea of Passover is to refrain from eating leavened bread in lieu of matzoh (i.e., not flour-less by any stretch), some of these recipes may still not be low-carb friendly.

One of my dear (Catholic deacon) friends likens the host offered during Mass to a round piece of matzah… neither of which risks obesity, given their cardboard-like flavor. :wink:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #31

Actually, that’s an insult to honest cardboard, which is far more flavourful than those wafers, lol! :rofl:


We have a baked thing here that looks like challah and must be very similar to it regarding the ingredients too… Not like it matters when it comes to my answer.

Yep, there is raised keto bread and all other raised bread relatives (but looking at google, maybe they are still considered bread). It’s easier with challah as it’s not almost just flour and water…
It is raised so we need gluten but gluten is pretty low-carb. Many people has problems with it though. I don’t. So I use gluten and some oily seeds, often a tiny bit of bamboo fiber, phyllium husk… But despite it noticeably raises and becomes fluffier as a dough, it is too dense when I bake it so if I want a somewhat fluffier texture, I can’t avoid using starches. It changes the taste too. I find gluten slightly bad tasting so I can’t depend on it too much and anyway, it’s so very flexible, it would mess with the texture. Pure fiber has no taste (well I have apple fiber and it has a subtle apple flavor…) and mess with the texture, at least in some cases. So I don’t depend too heavily on any flour replacement (probably almond flour is the best regarding this but I am not willing to buy that horribly expensive and not even particularly great tasting - just neutral, it’s precious but not for that price, for me - ingredient) but mix them.
If a baked good has eggs, that makes things easier as eggs are tasty and I am into them especially if I make bread. Eggy breads are the best if you ask me. So I just use more eggs than the recipe says and skip some liquid or add more very absorbent flour replacement (there is a limit as they are too tasteless but if it is a tasty, sweet dough, I can get away with some coconut flour… a tiny bit is possible for savory ones if I use sesame, that’s bitter and the sweet coconut balances it out without making the result too sweet). The tasty yolks mask the not so stellar flavors… If the bread can’t handle so much yolk but it has some liquid I can reduce, I just use more whites. Almost tasteless, has a lot of water but protein too, what not to like?
I personally use as much walnut as I can get away with as it’s very tasty unlike many of my options. For example, flax, even the nicer golden one (better for the color too but if I make a really low-carb bread, it won’t be white. not like my wheat bread would be light so it’s fine in this household) isn’t that tasty if I use much… I baked a lot in my paleo-ish low-carb years and had to mix my “flours” to get some okay result. It never was good for raised bread but it was edible. I personally just make some hybrid bread nowadays, it’s enjoyable (better than the carby one, better than the keto one, fluffy enough texture, good taste) and I don’t often eat such things and can handle that much.

So, according my own tastes, if I just want a braid a sweet, raised bread, I can do it keto but it won’t be as pretty and especially not as enjoyable as a somewhat starchier version. But if the goal isn’t making a tasty, fluffy one, a keto version seems quite possible. (I know I can make a similar keto stuff but maybe there are conditions for challah I don’t know about, who knows?)