We have adapted the seminarian version of the St. Lawrence Guild recipe from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific for a simple and tasty communion bread.
I was introduced to baking thermometers at a recent professional baking course I attended. The thermometers take the guess work out of baking, knowing when the loaf is perfectly done. After the last day of class I went right out and bought one but one could use a meat thermometer as well.
We’re excited to say that more and more churches are using our flour to bake their communion bread. Some choose it for its rich, slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Others are focused on bringing life-giving food to their altars. Both are true, and because we grow our own grain, and work with local farmers, we're supporting small family farms. Baking with freshly-milled whole wheat is somewhat different than baking with commercial flour. Freshly milled flour requires more hydration. Follow these step by step directions for the best results.
This recipe is best for congregations that receive the bread separately from the wine.
Yields 4 1/2 pound loaves. I usually double the recipe.
- 1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast plus 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 3/4 c Bishop’s Blend whole wheat flour (50% red fife, 50% sonora)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup of honey
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of warmed milk, whole milk is best
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust heavily with flour. Set aside.
- Add yeast to 110 degree water in a bowl. If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, mix 1/8 c boiling water with 1/8 c room temperature water.
- Heat milk on the stove top to 120 degrees. In a stand mixer, combine warm milk, honey, oil and salt. Mix thoroughly. Add egg and mix again.
- Add yeast mixture and 3 3/4 cups of flour to the milk combination in the stand mixer.
- Mix on first speed for 3-5 minutes.
- Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, create two places to work on your counter: a wet area and a dry area with some flour.
- Wet your hands and take the dough out of the stand mixer and place on the wet counter.
- Divide dough into four equal pieces. A plastic bench knife makes it easy to divide the dough.
- Dry and flour your hands. Taking one piece of dough at a time, make a round ball.
- Dust the top of each ball with flour. Using a rolling pin, gently roll each ball into a round disc in place on the baking sheet, being careful not to roll too hard.
- Using a sharp knife, score each round with a cross. (Don't cut too deeply or the bread will self-fraction (break into pieces in the oven). Let the disks rise for one hour. The dough will almost double in size and be shaped like a dome. If they have not really risen, let them rise 15-30 minutes more.
- After the dough has risen, bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 170-175 degrees. Use a baking thermometer to check the temperature at 7 minutes to check.
- Allow bread to cool thoroughly before storing in Ziploc bags. The loaves can be frozen.