The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help for communion bread

thewoodenspoon's picture

Help for communion bread

I bake leavened bread for our church's communion celebration on the first Sunday of each month. I love doing it and everyone who knows the bread comes from my kitchen, tells me how wonderful the bread tastes. We have 3 services on Sunday morning and at the 9am service communion is taken by intinctin (a small piece of bread is dipped in the grape juice and then eaten). My recipe is to tender and when the bread is dipped, it tends to fall apart, leaving pieces of bread in the communion chalice.  I phoned my mom, an avid bread baker and I use her recipe, and she advised me to knead it more and decrease the oil to about 1/4 cup for 2 loaves and see how that works. Can anyone give me any other pointers to get a chewier, more elastic bread that will hold up to being "dipped"??


Thanks, in advance!!!

cranbo's picture

using a pre-ferment in your bread (starter, poolish, biga, etc) will help with elasticity and strength.

Cut down on the fats (butter & milk) in your recipe significantly, and use higher hydration levels (between 62-68% of your flour weight).  

The "stretch and fold" technique (in lieu of kneading) also does wonders for dough strength.  

Doc.Dough's picture

yes, yes, and yes. You may also want to see if you can find a higher gluten flour. You will benefit from it in addition to better developing the gluten in whatever flour you are currently using by incorporating stretch and fold steps, increasing the hydration to the high 60's, and reducing the fat. Though I suspect that you would benefit from S&F in addition to kneading rather than simply substituting it for kneading.

nhtom's picture

Yeah.  What they said.  Kneading it more was the first thing I thought of.

Also, if you're using whole wheat flour, you might try using less of it and more white.

One more thing - when punching it down before the final rising, use a rolling pin to roll it out flat to get as much air out of it as possible.  Then, roll it up and shape it.  This gives it a more consistent texture.

It really touches me to see my bread broken and then served for communion.

Muffin Man's picture
Muffin Man

Leavened?  I have made an excellent unleavened bread for communion using a recipe provided by an elderly lady in our church.  The dough is patted (or rolled) into 3 inch circles (or ovals, or whatever), about 1/8 inch thick.  Here's her recipe:

Communion Bread

Recipe from Miss Dora

2 Cups All Purpose flour

½ Cup Crisco

 Mix ingredients until the consistency of corn meal is achieved.

Makes two batches.

Bake at 350 for about 5 minutes.

Shake pan gently. If bread does not move, it is not done.