The purpose of this ministry is to provide the Holy Bread used in the liturgical services of the church
The Bread Bakers provide liturgically-appropriate bread for all the Divine Liturgies and Litia services. The bread for the Divine Liturgy is a simple four ingredient recipe. Parts are used by the clergy in the preparation of the Eucharist with other parts blessed as Antidoron, consumed after the Eucharist.
The Artoklasia bread is a flavorful spiced bread that is blessed with wine and distributed at the end of Vespers w/ Litia on special feasts.
Ministry Team Leader is Linda Young
If you are interested in joining the Holy Bread Ministry, please contact Fr. Christopher
A typical schedule is as follows:
1st Sunday of the month: Linda Young
2nd Sunday of the month: Valerie Pflueger
3rd Sunday of the month: Marius Enache
4th Sunday of the month: Michele Auldridge
5th Sunday: Kh. Ellen Steiger
Mid-week morning Liturgy = one recipe, one loaf
Mid-week evening Liturgy = 2 recipe divided into 3 loaves
The directions below are for someone already experienced in makinging bread, it is not detailed for beginners.
* * January 2023: Currently Ss Peter & Paul is using a 3 loaf recipe, divided into 5 pieces (it is important to have 5). So bakers would triple the recipe below and then form the (tripled) dough into 5 smooth balls.
(please note: there is no sugar in Holy Bread and absolutely no grease on the pans)
For 1 large loaf:
1-1/2 cups very warm water
1 pkg dry yeast or 2 1/4 teas yeast
3-4 cups BREAD FLOUR
3/4 teas salt
1. Combine yeast and water in large bowl. Slowly add approximately half of the flour, mixing well until smooth (300 strokes)
2. Slowly add enough of the remaining flour to work dough, it will be soft but not sticky
3. Knead 10 minutes
4. Form into smooth ball, lightly smooth flour on bottom and sides of ball (so that it doesn't stick to the pan), then place in pan. (can put on baking sheet, or use individual 8" or 9" cake pans). To prevent sticking, you can line pan with foil or baker's parchment paper
5. Cover with cloth, let rise 30 minutes in warm place
6. Sprinkle tops lightly with flour, press seal in very firmly. Pierce for bubbles around the edges, and pierce the 4 corners of the "lamb". Do not pierce any other places in the seal.
--Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for ~45-50 minutes. Remove from pan. Allow to cool on rack (do not let bread cool in pan!). Use soft brush to brush off excess flour from loaves. (consider getting yourself a small brush dedicated to only using on the holy bread). When completely cool: wrap in cellophane and/or ziplock bags.
An important link explaining why Holy Bread must be made without sugar or whole wheat flour: http://www.prosphora.org/page4.html
LOTS of interesting facts and info about Holy Bread: www.prosphora.org Please note: this site is no longer active, but still is very informative!
The Monks Spiridon and Nikodim, Prosphora-Makers of Pechersk (XII), for 30 years fulfilled their obedience -- they baked prosphora. The Monk Spiridon came to the monastery during the time of the hegumen Pimen (1132-1141), already no longer young a man. The ascetic combined his work with unceasing prayer and the singing of psalms.
The square piece in the center is the piece that will be changed into the Body of Christ; it is called the Lamb of God. It has the letter ICXC NIKA. It means Jesus Christ Conquers
See the large triangular piece? This represents the Virgin Mary
See the nine smaller triangles? These pieces commemorate the angels, prophets, apostles and saints of the church.
During a service before liturgy starts, the priest breaks the bread and the seal and prays for the different people represented by the seal; the Theotokos, the prophets, angels… The priest also prays for all those living whose names have been submitted to him. Then he prays for all those who have passed away whose names have been submitted to him. Even if they are Orthodox Christians or not.