Baking bread

If you have not seen Alexis’ excellent post on eucharistic bread baking and hospitality, I highly recommend it:

http://gracecatholic.blogspot.com/2007/01/he-took-b-r-e-d-it-was-real-bread.html

Hopefully Alexis will give us a lesson in making leavened (Eastern-style) communion bread, as he is quite skilled in that regard.  I have seen him in the kitchen, and partaken of the delicious result.  For those of us who use unleavened bread in communion, independent catholic priest Tony Begonja wrote an extremely useful book (back when he was an RC layperson) called Eucharistic Bread-Baking as Ministry.  It is out of print, but if you can rummage up a copy somewhere, it is well worth obtaining.

Just for fun, here is a recipe for communion bread, given to me by a friend who grew up in the Dunker (Old German Baptist Brethren) community.  It merrily violates a lot of traditional rules by adding things like sugar and butter.  Even if you don’t want to use it for communion, the end result is a tasty flatbread, somewhere in between a craker and a cookie.   Anyhow, here it is:   Mix 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cut in 1 stick of butter and then add 1/2 cup of milk.  Roll out very thin, place on cookie sheets, and make holes here and there with a fork.  (You can make patterns with the fork that enable you to break up the bread easily and neatly.)   Bake at 425 for approx 5-6 minutes until done.   For vegan friends, I can assure you that a good vegan margarine (like Soy Garden or Earth Balance), and rice or soy milk can be substituted for the dairy products, with no ill effects.

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One Response to “Baking bread”

  1. Alexis Says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the lovely compliment on today’s post. I just remembered there is a wonderful little video on the traditional Jewish method of making the passover matzos (http://www.bbc.co.uk/videonation/articles/u/uk_matzos.shtml). The chap Gabriel Lock made some other videos which are equally delightful.

    For those in the community who like to use the flat-bread tradition, this video might be inspiring. For those who are of the “risen” bread grouping – I’ve been working on a video and it should be available soon.

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