Offering Bread Team

The Prosfora (offering bread) Committee has the important job of making all the liturgical offering bread used by the church. The committee is comprised of a number of volunteer bakers that, with prayer, make bread according to the recipe and stamp each loaf with the holy seal (sfrayitha).

BAKERS

The ministry has had continued success due to the efforts of those involved and their experience. The bakers work with the committee chair to ensure that there is an adequate supply throughout the year and that there is also a reserve or “emergency” supply of bread in the freezer at all times as well. Volunteers often schedule themselves for a certain holiday, event, family name day, or memorial. Bakers are welcomed and encouraged to offer a list of names (living and reposed) for that scheduled day.

Weekly bakers are scheduled in advance to have the bread ready for Sunday’s Divine Liturgy and often make an extra loaf for weekday liturgies. It is recommended that each baker make three loaves. Holidays, or course, require more. The committee chair has been responsible for making extra bread between scheduled bakers as needed, or if no bakers are available for a particular week, or should a baker have to cancel.

Historically, the bakers have been responsible for the cost of making the bread, including obtaining the ingredients and supplies as well as the zip-lock bags to store each loaf in. Also, they are responsible for transporting their bread to church before the Sunday Liturgy or making alternate arrangements with the committee chair. There is now a permanent supply drawer, clearly labeled “Prosfora Supplies” in the kitchen to house supplies including zip-lock bags, a sfrayitha, Prosforo recipes, diptychs (for names of the living and the reposed), and labels. The committee chair has authored a mailer for the members, which includes reminders and concerns regarding the preparation, baking, storing, and delivery of the bread.

Further information about prosforo may be found at: www.prosphoro.org.

RECIPE:

5 pounds all-purpose flour
4 cups Luke warm water
½ tsp. salt
3 ½ tbls. Yeast

Dissolve yeast in ½ cup Luke warm water and ½ tsp. salt
Cover with saran wrap and let rise

In a large bowl, mix yeast and flour about 2 handfuls
Gradually add warm water and alternate flour and water 
Continue to knead until all the flour and water are gone
Dough should feel stiff not sticky
Cover dough and let rise

When ready, on a floured surface shape dough into round loaves
Dip edges of the seal in flour
Stamp each loaf, by pressing down for 10 seconds
Lift the seal, with a toothpick prick 5 wholes in each loaf making the sign of the cross
Place the loaves in a lightly floured baking pan
Cover while working to finish the rest of the loaves
Bake in a moderate oven (375° F) for about 45 minutes.

Contact Person: Krisandrea