The Egyptian Triangle Bread

One apparently common bread during the pharaonic period was a bread shaped in the form of an equilateral triangle and painted white. The example here is from the the downtown Egyptian Museum. Note the white covering and the areas where the white has chipped off.

The equilateral triangle was an important shape in ancient Egypt. It is the geometrical form found most associated with the pyramids. Google offers this up as its recommended answer: “In ancient Egypt, the triangle combined will, intelligence, and love to represent man’s soul.

I suspect it will have had many connotations, possibly these, and likely many more. As this style bread was found in tombs we do know that it was associated with burial rituals and the afterlife. If you know more about the triangle’s meanings in ancient Egypt, then please leave a comment.

As it looks to me from the triangular breads I have seen with my own eyes, and breads I only know from photographs that it was probably not made with a highly refined flour. I made mine with coarsely ground emmer. And I mean course! I ground it to include some emmer particles large enough to be used as a cracked wheat, like kasha. Barley could be used for this bread, as well.

On the left you see my version of this bread. On the right, covering the loaf, is a cutout of a photograph of an example from a museum collection.

The white paint is white paint. It is calcium carbonate, powdered limestone mixed with a binder in the form of boiled refined emmer flour. There is as yet no proof that this is what the white paint was made from — so as of now this is my speculation.

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