Prosphora Bread Ministry
1¾ tsp active dry yeast
1½ cup warm water
4 cups unbleached flour
½-¾ tsp salt
**No sugar, oil, or grease to be used.
- Sprinkle yeast over warm water; stir until dissolved.
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the center, and pour in yeast/water mixture, mix with hands or wooden spoon. (An electric mixer works as well.)
- Turn out dough onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Don't add too much flour, or bread will end up crumbly. (If using a mixer, use hook and mix for 10 minutes.)
- Put dough into a large bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a worm place until double in bulk--about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and knead for 15 minutes. Dough should be firm and smooth, and air bubbles worked out. (Return to mixer for 15 minutes.)
- Divide dough roughly in half, with one piece slightly larger than the other.
- Form large piece into a circle 6-7 inches in diameter and place in flour round cake pan (or one lined with parchment). Poke several holes with a skewer.
- Form the smaller piece into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.
- Lightly flour top of dough. Lightly flour seal. Center seal on top of dough and press firmly to imprint. Remove seal carefully and place imprinted half on top of lightly moistened (with water) bottom half. Press top gently onto bottom, especially round edges.
- Poke holes with skewer through both halves. (See image)
- Let formed loaf rest 15 minutes (covered with towel.)
- Place in 350 degree oven and bake 45-50 minutes, covering lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil after about 20 minutes to prevent browning. (A golden color is okay.)
- After removing bread from oven, immediately wrap in damp "flour sack" towel and allow to completely cool (for several hours or overnight).
When cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and place in ziplock style baggie, removing air. Put in freezer until the night before needed (i.e. take to Vespers for the next day's Liturgy).