I started making the communion bread for our small Church when I was a fairly new Christian in 2008. Since I love to bake, it was natural for me to volunteer and once I started making it, I refused offers of help until my dear sisters in Christ threw their hands up in defeat and I became the sole communion bread-maker! I didn’t intend for this to happen, but I can’t say that I’m sad about it. As I said, I love to bake, and baking for Christ is the ne plus ultra!
For most of that time I was basically using my favorite pie crust recipe with a little bit of sugar, some extra flour, and I worked it a lot more to reduce the flakiness and mess when each person broke off a piece. This seems to be common among the Churches I have visited–basically using small rounds of baked pie crust as the communion bread for the Lord’s supper.
This year I changed the recipe to omit sugar because I finally came to understand that the Passover bread that Jesus was passing at the table during his last meal would not have contained honey (refer to Leviticus 2:11), so we can draw the conclusion that any type of sweetener was most likely not included. Changing the recipe this small bit made me think about it a little more, and I could not fathom how it came to be over the centuries that the plain unleavened bread that was served at Passover had come to be more of a pie crust with either shortening or butter (I used both) rather than liquid oil. I have not done enough research to know exactly how they made the bread, and perhaps that has been lost to time, but based on Leviticus 7:12 and 2:13, I do know that it contained flour, oil and salt. So I used this very plain recipe to create a satisfying communion bread that makes me feel closer to Jesus when I partake, as I imagine it is similar to what he and his apostles ate during his last meal, and my sensitivity to salt makes me very aware of it and brings to mind Jesus’s blood and sweat and how he suffered for us as he hung on the cross.
<moment of reflective silence>
This bread is actually quite tasty and you could also use it for your homemade crackers. It would be fabulous with creamy dips! I included a bit of whole wheat flour for a more nutty flavor, but it could easily be changed to all white flour if you want white crackers. If you are using this recipe for communion bread and want to get really authentic, I would say using all whole wheat flour, stone ground, would be better but you might need to add some extra water in this case.
This is my submission for the BSI contest. Thank you so much to the early birds who have already submitted their recipes that include flour. I hope to see more of them! Remember, you don’t have to have a blog or picture of your recipe to enter and all submissions are due by Sunday, August 15, 2010, at 5:00 pm CST . I will post a roundup of all the submissions and announce the winner Sunday night. So send your links or recipes to vraklis at yahoo dot com or leave a link in the comment form below. Thanks!
Unleavened Bread (Wheat Crackers)
Printable recipe with picture
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil (I like to use olive oil, but vegetable or canola will work)
4-8 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Mix together well, preferably in a food processor, the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and oil. Add 4 tablespoons water and mix well. Gradually add more water, mixing after each addition, until mixture forms a compact ball. I usually need 7 tablespoons but your climate and humidity may require less or more to get the desired consistency. If it seems too sticky to handle, add more flour. Divide the dough in half.
Sprinkle a work surface with flour, then press and roll one ball of dough to about 1/8th inch thick. I do this on a sheet of parchment the size of my baking pan and have my husband hold the paper while I roll. Try to get it fairly uniform. If the dough is too dry to roll out, return it to the food processor and add a little more water. If necessary to prevent sticking, dust your hands and the rolling-pin with a little more flour.
Put the rolled-out dough on a baking sheet dusted with a little flour (if you’ve used parchment paper, transfer dough and paper to baking sheet) and prick all over with a fork. Bake 10 – 15 minutes, until somewhat brown.
Cool and break into pieces and repeat with the second half of the dough. If making several batches, mix another while the first one bakes. You can re-use the parchment paper several times.
Recipe source: adapted from recipetips.com