Many parishes are now baking their own communion bread. We have listed two recipes and we invite you to add your recipes.
Other options are available as well: Christ Church, Alameda, uses Naan for their Eucharist. Gluten-free crackers are now available at most grocery stores, and smaller gluten free crackers and becoming increasingly available. If you have a good gluten-free cracker or bread recipe, please share it with us. Click here to read about altar bread that goes from farm to altar table: from planting, to harvesting, to milling, to baking.
Whole Wheat Communion Bread
St. Paul’s, Buringame
1 cup warm water divided
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon yeast (1½ packages)
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white bread flour
1¼ teaspoons salt
- Combine ¾ cup water, milk, 6 tablespoons honey, salt, and butter in a sauce pan. Heat gently, melting the butter. Stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly. Remove from heat.
- Combine yeast, remaining teaspoon of honey and ¼ cup warm (not hot) water in small bowl. Let it sit and if all is well the mixture will froth.
- Put all the flour in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Check temperature of butter mixture. When it is warm, not hot, pour the mixture and the yeast mixture in the bowl with the flour.
- Say goodbye to your hands. Use your hands to mix the wet and dry ingredients. Scoop the mixture out of the bowl and knead between your hands until your fingers re-emerge clean and the dough is firm and elastic.
- Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until double; one hour.
- Punch down the risen dough and divide into quarters. Shape each into a round loaf, sealing the bottom by pinching it together. And set them on greased backing sheet.
- Cover the shaped loaves with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour. Meanwhile preheat over to 350 degrees.
- When the loaves have risen, butter a sharp knife and cut a cross in the top of the loaves.
- Bake for 30 minutes. There should be a hollow sound when you tap the bottom.
- Let the loaves cool before putting them in plastic bags. The bread freezes well if you want to make extra or store.
- Feel good about helping your church!
Trinity Church, Menlo Park
This recipe uses only one rising and no milk or dairy.
2 cups whole wheat flour (King Arthur is a favored brand)
2/3 cup white flour (King Arthur, but any white and wheat flour will work)
1 cup hot water
1 package, active, dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspooon salt
1/3 cup honey (2/3 will work also, the more honey the less crumbly)
- Sprinkle active dry yeast into the hot water. Water should not be boiling but warmer than body temperature. If using a thermometer, 115 degrees. Stir and let the yeast activate for 5 minutes or until you see it is actively multiplying.
- Stir in the honey, olive oil, and salt.
- Add both flours, stir until dough forms.
- Turn dough onto floured board and knead for five minutes or until it springs back from a touch of your finger and has a shiny surface.
- Put into an oiled bowl and cover with a warm, damp towel.Let dough rise for 90 minutes to 2 hours … longer is fine.
- Remove risen dough from the bowl and return to floured board. Knead for a few minutes then roll out with rolling piin to about 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut round loaves with a biscuit cutter (3 1/2 inches) or 1 lb coffee can as the cutter which yields a 5 inch round loaf. Slash two lines in the top to each loaf to make a cross.
- Place on lightly oiled cookie sheet, or uses parchment paper to line baking sheet, and bake for 15 or 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on a rack and then individually wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Dust off extra flour.