We have adapted the seminarian version of the St. Lawrence Guild recipe from the Church Divinity School of the Paci c 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 our 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 our. Freshly milled our requires more hydration. Follow these step by step directions for the best results.
This recipe is best for congregations that intinct their bread. Yields 4 1/2 pound loaves. I usually double the recipe.
- ¼ t active dry yeast
- ¼ c warm water (110 degrees)
- 3 3/4 c Bishop’s Blend whole wheat flour (50% red fife, 50% sonora)
- 1/2 t of salt
- 1/3 c of honey
- 1/3 c of olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 c whole milk, warmed
- 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, covered with a clean dish towel, in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes. This step is important as the freshly milled whole wheat flour needs time to hydrate.
- Remove the dough from the bowl onto a well-floured surface. Add 1/4 c flour and knead for 1-2 minutes. Let rest 10 more minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
- Roll out the dough on a well floured surface to about 1/2" thick. Cut circles measuring ~ 4.5" in diameter. Place cut dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife score each round with a cross. (Don’t cut too deeply or the bread will self-fraction.)
- Bake 6 minutes then turn loaves over and bake another 4-6 minutes reaching an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees. Do not over bake. The loaves should look slightly under done in the middle.
- Allow to cool thoroughly before storing in Ziploc bags. Can be frozen.