St. Mark’s Communion Bread Guidelines and recipes

Your St. Mark’s family thanks you for providing bread! It needn’t be homemade, but if you want to give it a try, two good recipes are posted nearby. Questions? See posted guidelines or call Peter Miller: 919-345-0713 or email:

St. Mark’s Communion Bread Guidelines

THANK YOU for signing up to provide communion bread for the 10:30 service. Your interest and efforts are very much appreciated. We offer the following guidelines to help ensure that each week’s bread works well for our Eucharist.

  • Your bread offering does not have to be homemade. Unsliced, commercially available bread is fine. King’s Hawaiian (or Kroger Bakery Sweet Italian) is particularly suitable. Please be sure that the bread is not flavored (cheese, garlic, herb, etc.).
  • Bread should be non-crusty (i.e. not sourdough). When very crusty bread is broken at the altar, then torn into little pieces, it generates a lot of crumbs and is difficult to tear.
  • When baking homemade bread, please try to make sure the bread is not underdone (doughy) or overdone (crumbly). TIP: Recipes with egg in them are more elastic and less likely to be crumbly.
  • Bread should not contain seeds of any sort, i.e. poppy, sunflower, sesame, etc. Seeds prevent folks with digestive difficulties from partaking and we want to be as inclusive as possible.
  • Bread should be enough for about 75 communicants.
  • Please make a partial cut across the middle of the bottom of the bread to facilitate breaking it during the Eucharistic prayer.
  • When you bring bread, please arrive at least 30 minutes before the service, so there is no uncertainty for the altar guild as to whether the bread is coming. Place the bread on the Sacristy counter near the entrance to the vesting area, or place it on the credence table nearest the font. A bread tray is provided, along with a linen cover to lay over your bread. At the offertory, carry your bread forward at the appropriate moment.



Communion Bread Recipes

Just in case you have never baked bread or do not have a recipe suitable for communion bread, here are a couple that you can use.

White Bread – modified from “The Joy of Cooking”

A good non-crumbly elastic bread used often at St. Mark’s (For whole wheat bread, substitute about 2 cups whole wheat flour for 2 cups regular flour)

Stir together in a large mixing bowl:

3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
Gradually add to dry ingredients:
2 cups warm water (not hot)
½ cup melted margarine or butter

Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.


1 beaten egg
1 cup flour

Mix slightly, then beat at medium speed for 2 more minutes. Batter will be very sticky.

Stir in, until dough is very stiff:

3 to 4 cups flour

Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding bits of flour as necessary so the dough is not too sticky. Grease the dough and let rise in a covered bowl until double in size, about 1 hour. Shape into 2 large loaves and place into greased loaf pans. Grease the tops and let rise again until double in size. Bake at 375 – 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until nicely browned. Immediately remove from pan and place on a cooling rack. Lightly grease the tops. NOTE: A Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook will work as well and cuts down on the kneading by hand.

Simple Altar Bread

Stir together in a large mixing bowl:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Mix liquids together and warm slightly.

½ cup oil
½ cup honey
1 cup milk
1 ¼ cups water

Pour most of the liquid into dry ingredients and stir. Add liquid to make a smooth, soft dough not too sticky to handle. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently. Roll out to about 3/8-inch thickness. Cut into circles. A 6-inch diameter circle will be adequate bread for about 40 to 50 communicants. Gently cut an equal sided cross into the top of each circle. Place circles on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes. Don’t overbake. This recipe will make about 8 to 9 circles of 6-inches. Soup bowls or metal mixing bowls make good cutters.