PENNSYLVANIA ALTAR BREAD
An earthy whole-wheat bread used for communion
In Pittsburgh and other Western Pennsylvania parishes of the Episcopal
church, it is common to use small, thin loaves of real, fresh, home-made
bread at communion instead of the pressed wafers popular in most other
places. The bread has a chewy texture to it, keeps tremendously well, and
makes a great lunchbox food (each "loaf" is about the size a large cookie).
This recipe comes from Father Bill Coats of the
Church of the Redeemer in Pittsburgh.
Ingredients(8-10 single-serving loaves)
- 7/8 cup lukewarm water
(The water should be about
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
Combine water and yeast in mixing bowl. Add honey, olive oil, and salt.
Add flour. If flour does not completely dampen, add small amounts of water
until all of the flour is damp. Be sparing with the water.
Turn out onto a very lightly floured board, and knead thoroughly for 5
minutes until dough is extremely elastic.
Sprinkle a tiny amount of olive oil in a big bowl, then roll the dough in it
until the dough is covered with olive oil. Leave the dough in the bowl,
cover with a cloth, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to
Punch the dough down, knead again for a few seconds. Roll the dough out with
a rolling pin, as if you were making a pizza crust, to a thickness of
Using something like a large peanut butter jar or a giant cookie cutter, cut
circles of the dough and lift them onto a slightly-oiled baking
sheet. Press a cross into the top surface of each, so that it can be easily
Bake the loaves, on their baking sheet, in a preheated
You can freeze these loaves easily; either put them in single-serving ziploc
bags and use them for school lunches, or freeze a bunch in a large
15 minutes preparation, 2 hours rising, 10 minutes baking.
measure the ingredients.
Fr. Bill Coats
Church of the Redeemer
Recipe last modified: 1 Dec 78
From: reid@decwrl (Brian Reid)
Subject: RECIPE: Altar bread
Date: 30 Nov 85 10:39:06 GMT
Organization: DEC Western Research Lab, Palo Alto CA
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