Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Communion Bread Recipe

This month is my month to make communion bread. But as I prepared for baking, a terrible thing happen. I couldn't find my communion bread recipe! Fortunately I found it, but it gave me a scare. I decided I had better store it in a safe place. And what safer place than my blog.

Our priest, Father John, is very fussy about communion bread. It must not make crumbs! It is really distracting to be serving communion and see crumbs raining down on the carpet. From a theological perspective, this is very bad form.

So here it is, the No Crumbs but still delicious Communion Bread recipe as served by St. Francis Episcopal Church in College Station, TX. It beats those cardboard wafers any day!

Communion Bread Recipe
(makes 3 large loaves or 6 small loaves)


  • whole wheat flour (1 heaping cup)
  • unbleached, unbromated white bread flour (a bunch, perhaps 2 pounds)
  • all bran cereal (1/2 cup)
  • brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • dry yeast (1 tablespoon)
  • butter (4 tablespoons)
  • egg (1 large)
  • sea salt (2 scant teaspoons)
  • gluten (2 tablespoons)
  • boiling water (1 cup)
  • lukewarm water (1/2 cup)
  • cold water (1/2 cup)
  • vegetable oil (smidgen)

Stuff you will need

  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 large mixing bowl and mixer
  • 1 baking stone
  • parchment paper
  • large bowl for rising
  • light weight moist towels
  • statue of Jesus
  • Prayer Card with the following printed:

Loving God, May all who share this Eucharist be filled with your love.
Place the following in a large mixing bowl, which I will call Bowl A
  • 1/2 C all bran cereal
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 4 T butter
  • scant 2 t sea salt
  • 1 C boiling water
Stir ingredients in Bowl A with a spatula until the butter is dissolved. Once the butter has dissolved, add 1/2 C cold water and put the mixer on a slow speed.

While Bowl A is mixing, place the following in a small bowl which I will call Bowl B

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 t brown sugar
  • 1 T wholewheat flour
  • 1 T white bread flour
  • 1 T yeast
Stir these ingredients with a spatula until well mixed. Then set aside in a warm area to let the yeast revive. This will take about 10 minutes. In the meantime, go back to Bowl A.

While bowl A is mixing, add the egg, 1 C whole wheat flour, and 2T gluten. Then add white bread flour to the bowl 1 heaping tablespoon at a time until the mixture resembles wet clay. Do this over a period of about 5 minutes.

By now bowl B should be nice and bubbly and looking like it is full of happy yeast. Add bowl B to bowl A.

Continue adding white bread flour to Bowl A 1 heaping T at a time until the dough forms a ball that holds together.

Transfer dough ball to a well floured surface.

Knead dough adding more bread flour until dough is not sticky and feels like a baby's bottom. This will take about 20 minutes. While you are kneading, you should be repeating the words on your prayer card silently to yourself.

Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth. Place in a warm place to rise. Put the statue of Jesus over the bread to bless it during the rising. Allow it to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Place baking stone in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the doubled dough back on the floured surface and cut into three large pieces or six small ones. Form the pieces into round loaves. Place each loaf on a piece of parchment paper, cover with a light damp cloth and allow to rise until doubled, about 20 minutes. Place the prayer card someplace nearby so the loaves can refer to it while they are rising.

When the loaves have doubled, cut a cross into the top of each loaf. Transfer each loaf  along with its parchment paper onto the baking stone.

Bake 35-40 minutes until loaves are light brown and sound hollow when tapped with a spoon.

Let the loaves cool on racks.

Would you like to try some of this wonderful communion bread? It's easy. Join us any Sunday! Here is the website.

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