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The only place on the World Wide Web devoted exclusively to Orthodox Christian Holy Bread.

Founded 29 January 1999

 

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A Note About Updates:  Some of you may notice that this site is only sporatically updated.  There are several reasons.  First, this site has already succeeded in covering most of the topic.  From this point forward, we're after details and minor changes.  Second, between my family commitments, my job, prosphora stamp casting, etc. it is hard for me to seek out new data and format it.  Third, some of you have sent me material that I have just not had the time to post but will ASAP.  Please be patient.  Fourth, I have had several people come forth with information with is questionable in origin.  My advice: please remember that I am something of a researcher, so PLEASE cite sources.

 

Baking Videos

Here are a few videos which I hope will help new bakers.  Eventually, I will get around to making more, but this should cover the basics for now.

 

By Popular Demand!

Prosphora Stamp Central

Due to my current situation here, orders take 4-6 weeks.

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Introduction

I n the ancient Tradition of the Orthodox Church, Holy Mystery of Communion is carried out through the mediums of wine and leavened bread. The bread is specially baked for the purpose of communion, and it is called "Prosphora" (meaning "that which is offered" in Greek.)
This site is devoted to the baking and use of Prosphora, the Holy Bread of the ancient Orthodox Christian Tradition. We hope you will find this site both informative and useful. Our intention is both to educate people on the Tradition of prosphora as well as provide support to those involved in the ministry of prosphora-baking. 

Note : all information on this site is for public use, and we give permission for the reproduction of all the materials presented here so long as proper attribution is cited (i.e. you tell people that you got it here!). However, we cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of off-site information (i.e. links), the reliability of off-site material or untested contributions. If we can, we will note it.

A word to the beginner...

Baking is an art.  That means, just because you followed the recipe doesn't mean the bread always comes out the way you intended.  Just like singing or painting icons, it takes some practice and still there will be mistakes.  Go easy on yourself as you learn.  Don't pour holy water in the dough or make long prayers in front of your first loaf, since you will more than likely be feeding it to the birds or wishing you could put jam on it as you eat your mistakes.  You are not in the 5th century, so you don't bake bread daily.  If you do bake every day, then your prosphora probably comes out pretty reliable.  For those of us in this century, it takes years to acquire the skill...and still we have problems.  After all, yeast is a living creature.  Most of all, enjoy learning!  It is the Christian calling to grow in the life with God, and so try to grow as a baker and continue developing your skills all your life.  Learn from your mistakes, glorify God for your successes and never cease to relish the feel of well-kneaded dough!

 

 



 

 

 

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George's Updated Recipe (w/Photos) 
Click here to access. Updated: December 5, 2002

Bread Machine Prosphora
Click here to access. Posted: May 18, 1999

Serbian Prosphora Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: November 20, 1999

OFL Recipe & History of Prosphora
Click here to access. Posted: November 20, 1999

Russian Prosphora Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: November 24, 1999

Another Russian Prosphora Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: November 25, 1999

St. Vladimir's Prosphora Recipe
Click here to access. Updated: September 21, 2003        

Artos Recipe (for Artoklasia of Vespers)
Click here to access. Updated: December 7, 2000 

Russian Recipe from ROCA.org 
Click here to access. Posted: July 7, 2000

 

Foolproof Prosphora Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: July 11, 2000     

Archpriest Roman's Prosphora Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: December 2, 2000     

 

Artos (Litia) Bread Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: April 25, 2001     

Greek Archdiocese (Aus) Recipes
Click here to access. Posted: April 25, 2001     

Western-Style Hosts
Click here to access. Updated: February 13, 2003     

Artos Recipe from AOCWNA
Click here to access. Posted: August 13, 2001     

Melkite Prosphora Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: November 30, 2001     

Greek Prosphora Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: April 25, 2002     

Armenian Nshkhar Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: July 18, 2003     

Yiota Chatos' (Greek) Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: February 13, 2004     

Macedonian Recipe
Click here to access. Posted: March 2, 2004     

Here are recipes for prosphora. Please email us for clarification on local recipes only! As mentioned above, we cannot vouch for off-site recipes.

 

 

 

 

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Here are articles dealing with the "ins and outs" of prosphora baking. As research materials come available, I will post them here. As opposed to the recipe section, this area is devoted to baking principles and techniques.

 

 

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General Troubleshooting and Helpful Information
Click here to access. Posted: February 8, 1999

Question Regarding Bleached Flour
Click here to access. Posted: October 9, 1999

Shape Problem Troubleshooting 
Click here to access. Posted: October 16, 1999

Elementary Bread Science from Newton's Apple
Click here to access. Posted: November 27, 1999

Slumping Bread Explanation from Inquisitivecook.com
Click here to access. Posted: November 27, 1999

Time-Saving Prosphora Device
Click here to access. Posted: July 16, 2000        

Steam Baking Softens Crusts
Click here to access. Posted: March 30, 2001        

Tips and Recipes from Br. Dominic
Click here to access. Posted: June 2, 2001        

Bread Stamp Physics
Click here to access.
Posted: May 27, 2002

 

 

 

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Why prosphora must be pure
Click here to access. Posted: February 11, 1999

Altar Cleaning Suggestions
Click here to access. Posted: May 18, 1999

On the Abuse of Pre-Cut Prosphora
Click here to access. Posted: November 20, 1999

"Pray for One Another" - Proskomide
Click here to access. Posted: December 5, 2000   

A Note About Prosphora Prayers
Click here to access. Posted: December 16, 2000   

Leavened versus Unleavened Bread
Click here to access. Posted: January 14, 2001         

prosphora.org Review in Divine Ascent
Click here to access. Posted: January 25, 2001         

Envy and Prosphora Baking
Click here to access. Posted: February 14, 2001         

Making a Prayer Rope
Click here to access. Posted: April 25, 2001         

A Note to Antiochians
Click here to access. Posted: July 7, 2001         

Ancient Bread Stamps
Click here to access. Posted: September 7, 2001         

Egyptian Bread
Click here to access. Posted: May 31, 2002         

Bread/Cake Molds in America
Click here to access. Posted: September 9, 2002         

These are all articles or linked articles dealing with the topic of prosphora and certain aspects of liturgics. Also included are resources such as information dealing with prosphora or supplies specifically dealing with prosphora baking.

Suggestions for additions to this section are welcome!

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Provided by 'Come and See Icons'
click here to get a copy of this great icon

 

 

 

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These are all articles or linked articles dealing with the traditions of the Church. Here you will find pious customs, festal "holiday" recipes and other things not really about prosphora but nonetheless interesting.

Suggestions for additions to this section are welcome!

OCA Q&A on Antidoron
Click here to access. Posted: November 20, 1999

Kollyva (Boiled Wheat) Recipes
Click here to access. Posted: December 11, 1999

Traditional Nativity/Christmas Recipes
Click here to access. Posted: December 12, 1999

Pascha Recipes
Click here to access. Posted: December 12, 1999

Traditional Festal Recipes
Click here to access. Updated: February 13, 2004

Traditional Lenten Recipes
Click here to access. Posted: December 14, 1999

The Ancient Tradition of Ipsoma
Click here to access. Posted: January 7, 2000

The Rite of Slava: Finding Christ and His Saint in the Family
Click here to access. Updated: February 4, 2002

Prosphora Baking Saints        
Click here to access. Posted: November 29, 2000

 

Indiana List Koliva Recipe        
Click here to access. Posted: April 25, 2001

The Prosphora of Mt. Athos       
Click here to access. Posted: April 20, 2002

Lifting of the Panagia          
Click here to access. Posted: November 8, 2002

St. Phanourios' Bread Recipe & Traditions           
Click here to access. Posted: February, 13 2004

Maamoul Recipes           
Click here to access. Posted: February 15, 2003

Another Kollyva Recipe           
Click here to access. Posted: February 13, 2004

 

 

 

 

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Baking Links

Cooking Measurement Conversion

Cooking Measurement Conversion 2

BreadInfo.com  

BreadBasics.com  

Better Baking

Breadrecipe.com

Bread Bakers' Guild of America

Fleischmann's Yeast

 

Curious Cook (Harold McGee) http://www.prosphora.org/tinycross.gif

Inquisitive Cook http://www.prosphora.org/tinycross.gif

Old School Millhttp://www.prosphora.org/tinycross.gif

Non-Baking Links

www.nioras.com - Church Supplies http://www.prosphora.org/tinycross.gif

Theologic.com http://www.prosphora.org/tinycross.gif

Mt. Sinai Church Products http://www.prosphora.org/tinycross.gif

A collection of links, not all of which are related to prosphora, but everyone needs a little variety now and then!

 

Here are some books you really ought to consider adding to your baking library, as they have been very helpful for me in my continued development as a baker.

 


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"For this is the symbolic significance of unleavened bread, that you do not commit the old deeds of wicked leaven. But you have understood all things in a carnal sense, and you suppose it to be piety if you do such things, while your souls are filled with deceit, and, in short, with every wickedness. Accordingly, also, after the seven days of eating unleavened bread, God commanded them to mingle new leaven , that is, the performance of other works, and not the imitation of the old and evil works."
-St. Justin Martyr,  > Dialog with Trypho , ch. 14


"Lay aside, therefore, the evil, the old, the sour leaven, and be
ye changed into the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ."
-St. Ignatius, Magnesians 10


"The new law requires you to keep perpetual
sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are
pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you: and if you eat
unleavened bread, you say the will of God has been fulfilled. The Lord our
God does not take pleasure in such observances."
-St. Justin,   Dialog 12


"And that the Savior received first-fruits of those whom He was to save, Paul
declared when he said, 'And if the first-fruits be holy, the lump is also
holy,' teaching that the expression 'first-fruits' denoted that which is
spiritual, but that 'the lump' meant us, that is, the animal Church, the
lump of which they say He assumed, and blended it with Himself,
inasmuch as He is 'the leaven.'"
-St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies , Book 1, ch. 8, para. 3


"The apostles ordained, that 'we should not judge any one in respect to meat or drink, or in regard to a feast day, or the new moons, or the sabbaths.' Whence then these contentions? whence these schisms? We keep the feast, but in the leaven of malice and wickedness, cutting in pieces the Church of God; and we preserve what belongs to its exterior, that we may cast away these better things, faith and love. We have heard from the prophetic words that these feasts and fasts are displeasing to the Lord."
-St. Irenaeus, Fragment 38


"Keep your nights of watching in the middle of the days of unleavened bread. And when the Jews are feasting,
do you fast and wail over them, because on the day of their feast they crucified Christ; and while they are lamenting and eating unleavened bread in bitterness, do you feast."
-Constitutions of the Holy Apostles , Book 5, Section 3, para. xvii


"Hear at least what Christ saith to his disciples, 'The Kingdom of heaven is like unto a woman who took leaven and hid it in three measures of meal.' So that the righteous have the power of leaven, in order that they may transfer the wicked to their own manner of conduct. But the righteous are few, for the leaven is small. But the smallness in no way injures the lump, but that little quantity converts the whole of the meal to itself by means of the power inherent in it. So accordingly the power also of the righteous has its force not in the magnitude of their number, but in the grace of the Spirit. There were twelve Apostles. Dost thou see how little is the leaven?  The whole world was in unbelief. Dost thou see how great is the lump? But those twelve turned the whole world to themselves. The leaven and the lump had the same nature but not the same manner of conduct. On this account he left the wicked in the midst of the good, that since they are of the same nature as the righteous they may also become of the same purpose.."
-St. John Chrysostom, Homily 3 - > On Demons , sect. 2


"And this is the reason why He called you leaven: for leaven also does not leaven itself, but, little though it is, it affects the whole lump however big it may be. So also do ye: although ye are few in number, yet be ye many and powerful in faith, and in zeal towards God. As then the leaven is not weak on account of its littleness, but prevails
owing to its inherent heat, and the force of its natural quality so ye also will be able to bring back a far larger number than yourselves, if you will,to the same degree of zeal as your own."
-St. John Chrysostom, > To Those Who Had Not Attended the Assembly , sect. 2


"As this piece of bread was scattered over the hills and then brought together and made one, so let Thy Church be brought together from the ends of the earth into Thy Kingdom. For Thine is the Glory and the Power through Jesus Christ forever."
-an anaphora prayer from the Didache


"...And he was in the midst, not as burning flesh, but as bread baking..."
-the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp


"Let me be fodder for wild beasts, that is how I can get to God. I am God's wheat and am being ground in the teeth of wild beasts to make a pure loaf for Christ...I shall coax them to eat me up at once and not hold off..."
-St. Ignatius, Letter to the Romans


"...What many bakers don't realize is that good wheat can make bad bread. The magic of bread baking is in the manipulation and the fermentation. What has been lost...is this method."
-Lionel Poilâne


"Bread may not always nourish us; but it always does us good, it even takes stiffness out of our joints, and makes us supple and buoyant, when we knew not what ailed us, to recognize any generosity in man or Nature, to share any unmixed and heroic joy."
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau , vol. 2, p. 182


"To eat bread is one thing; to love the precepts of Christ and resolve to obey them is quite another."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson. Sermon given on September 9, 1832 at the Second Church, Boston, Massachusetts. “The Lord’s Supper,” Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903)

 


 

"Oh, God! that bread should be so dear, and flesh and blood so cheap!"
-Thomas Hood, The Song of the Shirt , st. 5 (1843)

 


 

"Eating the bitter bread of banishment."
-William Shakespeare, Richard II , act 3, sc. 1, l. 21

 


 

"Deliberation. The act of examining one’s bread to determine which side it is buttered on."
-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1881-1906)

 


 

"Two things only the people anxiously desire, bread and circuses."
-Juvenal, Satires , no. 10, l. 80-1.

 


 

"Science is analytical, descriptive, informative. Man does not live by bread alone, but by science he attempts to do so.  Hence the deadliness of all that is purely scientific."
-Eric Gill, “Art,” Essays (1948)

 

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Glory be to Jesus Christ our Lord and our God!

 

 

 

Dedicated to

La Madonna di Montevergine

Most Holy Mother, Pray to God for us!

 

 

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Symbol of the Ancient Orthodox Christian Tradition of Southern Italy

Many thanks to Hieromonk Gabriele of Sacro Monastero di San Basilio il Grande (under Metropolitan Gennadios of the Pat. of Constantinople) in Ravello, Italy, for providing this icon for our site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This site was made entirely without adult supervision.

       

That's all, folks!

Last updated 8.9.2006