How to Make Altar Bread
Prosphoron - Greek Style
Do not grease pans. Keep in mind that dough should be smoothed out to cover the bottom half of the depth of pan. (See helpful hints below).
Take religious seal and dip in flour, shaking off any excess flour that may accumulate, and press seal firmly in center of dough. Remove seal and let dough rise until it is almost doubled in bulk.
Remember that dough will also rise in oven and too much rising can erase the seal from dough.
Take a toothpick and make 5 or 6 pricks around outer edge of seal before baking.Bake in 400-degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until done. Wrap in clean cloth while cooling so crust will soften.
There are two methods that can be used when placing and smoothing dough out in cake pans:
1) Divide dough for each Prosphoron in two portions and flatten the dough in two layers in the cake pan--one on top of the other.
2) After you have shaped the dough in the pan, wait until it has risen, then cut a line with a paring knife in a circular motion around outer edge of risen dough in pan.
Prosphora - Russian Style
1) Dissolve yeast in 1/2cup of warm water (105 to 115 degrees), the water should feel warm to the fingers. Add 1/4 tsp. of the salt and 1 Tbs. of the flour. Let it rise for 10 minutes in a fairly warm place. Do not add sugar to yeast.
2) Sift the flour and add the rest of the salt. When the yeast rises add it to the flour and salt mixture. Then add the water gradually while mixing with your hands. When all the flour is mixed well, knead the dough for 3 to 5 minutes until it is smooth and not sticky. Cover the dough and let it rise for approximately one hour.
3) After rising, cut off about I lb. of the dough and form it into a round ball. Stretch it out on a floured wooden board - it should be about one inch high. Now cut it into loaves with a 3-inch cookie cutter. See that the loaves are smooth and round. Place them in a one-inch high pan or tray. Leave two inches of space between each loaf. Cover them with a clean thin dishtowel; let them rise while you prepare the top loaves.
4) Roll out a smaller ball of dough (about 1 lb.) to a 1-inch thickness. Smooth it out and cut it with the same cookie cutter. They have to be round and smooth.
5) Wipe the top of the lower loaves with warm water.
6) Powder with flour the face of the top loaves and stamp them before you put them over the lower loaves. Press down firmly then carry each upper loaf with the stamp still on it and put it over the lower loaf pressing them both down very lightly and then remove the stamp gently.
When you finish stamping two trays, put them in the oven on the lower rack without heating. If your oven's pilot is always on, let them rise on the top of the stove. Cover them with a dish towel. After 15 minutes or until they have risen a little, put them in the oven on the lower rack. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let them cool. I take them off the trays and put them to cool on a shallow straw basket. The air can circulate under them while they are covered with a dishtowel. You may use a wire rack to cool them if you wish. After completely cool, pack them 5 loaves in each bag and take them to church.
The Meaning Of The Ingredients
Do not omit the salt. God told Moses to put salt in every offering.
Read about the Peace offering in the Old Testament - Exodus 12: 18 - 20.
The priest blesses the people during the second part of the liturgy with these words: "The Love of God the Father, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you." Man is made "the body of Jesus Christ and a Holy Sacrifice of Peace, offered to God," by the love of God the Father, the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Communion of the Holy Spirit.
Selected readings from the Bible:
1 Cor. 11: 23 to 34
John 6: 32 to 40
Dilute yeast in 1/2-cup water; add sugar, salt and stir then add water and oil. Add 3 cups flour mixed with cinnamon and stir until batter is smooth. Add remainder of flour until dough is soft but firm. Knead until bubbles appear on surface of dough and it is smooth and satiny n appearance. Divide dough into 5 equal parts and place in 5-inch round pens. Let rise in pans until almost double in bulk. Bake in 400-degree oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on racks for 10 minutes. Brush tops lightly with honey. When cool, sprinkle powdered sugar on top.