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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Recipe Hints for Qurban (Holy Bread) for Holy Eucharist and the Antidoron

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Holy Eucharist - Consecrated Leavened Qurban (Holy Bread)
Holy God
Jesus Christ
Vespers
Great
and
Holy
Fri.
Holy
Mystery
Consecration
Transubstantiation
Receive
Prayers
Receive
Procedures
Divine Body
Thurs. after
1st Sun. after
Pentecost
     
Antidoron - Blessed Leavened Qurban (Holy Bread)
Antidoron Divine Liturgy - Kissing the cross and receiving the Antidoron Memorial Service (Jennaz with the "Evlogitaria of the Dead")
Leavened Qurban (Holy Bread)
Qurban
Holy Bread
Holy Seal Holy Seal
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Ingredients
     

 

Leavened Qurban

The Qurban used for Holy Eucharist and the Antidoron is leavened. Leavened means that the bread rises while baking. Yeast is a necessary ingredient for the bread to rise.

Leavened Qurban is used for Holy Eucharist because it symbolizes the living, risen Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, given to us at the Mystical Supper (Last Super). The Mystical Supper is commemorated during Vespers on Great and Holy Friday. This Vespers includes the Divine Liturgy of Our Father among the Saints Basil the Great and commemorates The Mystical Supper (Last Supper) and institution of Holy Eucharist. The Vespers of Great and Holy Friday is celebrated on Great and Holy Thursday morning.

Ingredients

  • Yeast
    • Use "normal" yeast. Do not use "active" yeast or "fast/quick rising" yeast. "Active" yeast and "fast/quick rising" yeast may cause the dough to rise too much. Then, Holy Seal impression is not clear on the bread.
  • Sugar
    • Use graduated white sugar. The sugar is needed to activate the yeast.
  • Water
    • Use hot water to activate the yeast
      • The water must be between 100 and 110 degrees to activate the yeast. (120 degrees will burn a person.) Use a liquid thermometer to measure the temperature.
    • Use warm water to combine the flour and salt into a mass.
  • Flour
    • Type of Flour
      • There is flour made specifically for baking bread. Some people prefer to use that type of flour.
      • There is all-purpose flour. Some people prefer to use that type of flour.
    • White and Wheat Flour
      • Up to 20 percent of the flour can be wheat.
      • However, many priest /abounas prefer white flour. Then, it is best to only use white flour.
  • Salt
    • Use salt to control the fermentation rate of yeast, to strengthen the gluten protein in the dough, and to improve the flavor.
    • Without salt, bread rises faster and air pockets enlarge where the gluten has broken, which allows holes to form in the dough. Additionally, bread made without salt tastes blander.

Create the Dough

1. Put yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl.

2. Stir yeast, sugar, and warm water together for 2 minutes.

3. Let these ingredients sit for at least 10 minutes.
The yeast must be "proofed" with the warm water and the sugar for at least 10 minutes for a chemical reaction to occur. If you do not see a chemical reaction when the yeast is "proofed", then the yeast is not useable.

4. Combine the flour, salt, and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients gradually so that everything is thoroughly mixed.

5. Add the dissolved yeast to the mixed ingredients in the large mixing bowl. The dough should be a little sticky because flour will be added during the Kneading Process and the Rolling Process. Adding flour dries the dough.
If the dough is dry, add water to increase the water content of the dough.
If the dough is very sticky, add flour to decrease the water content of the dough.

How to Knead the Dough

Knead the dough, knead again, and then knead again. Knead the dough until it doesn't stick to your fingers and it becomes smooth.

1. Gather your dough into a ball.

2. Use the heels of your hands to press down on the dough.

3. Use your fingers to pull up the part of the dough that was flattened by your hands and fold it back over on itself.

4. Repeat the pressing and folding process.

5. Turn the dough in a circle during the pressing and folding process.

6. Knead every section of dough several times for at least 10 minutes.

Kneading is the process of working dough by mixing, stretching, and pulling the dough by your flour covered fingers on a flour covered, flat surface.
It seems impossible to over knead the dough, but very easy to under knead the dough.
Kneading is used to strengthen the gluten protein and to remove the air bubbles.

Twice do The Knead the Dough and then Let The Dough Rise Process

1. Knead the dough with flour covered fingers on a flour covered, flat surface for at least 10 minutes.

2. Let the dough rise for at least two hours. The dough should rise to twice its size.
The dough should be placed into a warm space because heat helps the dough to rise.
Some people leave the dough in the mixing bowl. Some people place the dough on a flat coking surface.
Some people let the dough rise over night in a warm oven for the first rise process.

  • Pre-heated oven to 80 to 100 degrees.
  • Turn the oven off.
  • Wait for 5 minutes.
  • Place the dough on a flat baking surface.
  • Cover the dough with a light cloth.
  • Place the flat baking surface with the covered dough into the turned off warm oven.

3. Knead the dough with flour covered fingers on a flour covered, flat surface for at least 10 minutes.

4. Let the dough rise for at least two hours. The dough should rise to twice its size.

5. Knead the dough

6. Bake the dough or continue the Knead the Dough and then Let The Dough Rise Process until it is time to bake the dough.

It is O.K. to take about 24 hours to repetitively knead and rise the dough. Because a crust forms on the dough, which must be broken down, it is best not to wait much more than about 28 - 30 hours to bake the dough.

Amount of Dough to use for each Qurban

  • Fits into the fist of an adult.
  • Is the size of a tennis ball or a hard baseball.

Roll and Shape the Dough

Roll and shape the dough on the baking surface (on the flour cover surface or on the Parchment Paper covered surface). The reason is that moving the dough can cause the shape, width, and/or height of the dough to change, which means that Holy Seal impression will not be clear.

  • Roll the dough into a ball by using your flour covered fingers.
  • Place the dough ball on a flour covered, flat surface by using your flour covered fingers.
  • Roll the dough ball with a flour covered rolling pin to flatten the dough, expand the dough, and to shape the dough.

Size of the Dough

  • Width: The dough must be wider than the Holy Seal. A good size for the dough is 1/2 inch to 1 inch wider than the diameter of the Holy Seal.
  • Height: The dough must be less than 1/4 inch tall.

The Dough will expand in width and height.

  • Pressing the Holy Seal on the dough causes the dough to expand.
  • Baking causes the dough to expand.

On What item to Bake the Dough

  • A flat baking surface without sides, such as a cookie sheet, allows the dough to expand sideways.
    When dough expanses sideways, there is less the possibility of upwards dough expansion. Upwards dough expansion can mean that the impression of Holy Seal is not clear on the Qurban.
  • A cake pan or a pie pan prevents the dough from expanding sideways.
    Then, the dough will probably expand upwards. Upwards dough expansion can mean that the impression of Holy Seal is not clear on the Qurban
    However, a glass pan enables a person to check the color and firmness of the bottom of the bread.

How to prevent the dough from sticking to the baking surface.

Flour is the traditional method to prevent the dough from sticking to the baking surface. Also, Parchment Paper, which is made to be used in ovens by Reynolds, can used.

According to Rev. Father / Abouna Mark Malone, no fat can be near Holy Bread. Since oil and grease are by products of fat they can not be used.

What side of Holy Seal to Use

  • Large side - nine squares for Church
  • Small side - one square for home

Make the Holy Seal Impression in the Dough

1. Move the shaped dough to a flat baking surface.

2. Use flour to prevent the Holy Seal from sticking in the dough by one of two methods.

  • Cover the Holy Seal with flour to prevent it from sticking in the dough.
  • Cover the area of the dough where the Holy Seal will be pressed with flour.

3. Place the Holy Seal in the middle of the dough.

4. Press on the center of the Holy Seal with the palms of both hands with all your strength. Some people lean over the Holy seal (the chest is above both hands), and press for 20 seconds. (The Qurban will flatten and expand.)

5. Press on the edges of the Holy Seal with the palms of both hands for about 20 seconds with all your strength.
Move your palms around the entire edge of the Holy Seal and press on the each edge of the Holy Seal for about 20 seconds. (The Qurban will flatten and expand.)

6. Release the Holy Seal from your hands.

7. Let the Holy Seal sit on the bread for about 20 seconds.

8. Lift the Holy Seal from the dough carefully and evenly.

9. Place the dough into the oven immediately.
If the dough is not placed into the oven, then the dough will rise and then the Holy Seal impression will not be clear.

The Holy Seal impression in the dough must be clear and deep because the dough expands.

Make Vertical Punctures in the Dough

1. Use a fork or a toothpick to make vertical punctures in the dough on the section of the dough that is not covered by the impression of the Holy Seal.
These vertical punctures allow the air to escape from the dough so the dough rises less. The less the dough rises, the clearer the Holy Seal impression. When the dough to rises too much, the impression of Holy Seal is not clear on the Qurban.

  • Make the punctures in the dough as close together as possible.
  • Make the punctures in the dough immediately after pressing the Holy Seal into the dough.

2. Place the dough into the oven immediately.

3. Remake the punctures because the punctures quickly close if the dough is not immediately placed into the oven.

How to Bake the Dough to make Qurban

1. Pre-heated the oven to temperature listed in the recipe. (Usually, bread is baked at 400 degrees.)

2. Place the dough on a flat baking surface.

3. Place the flat baking surface in the top half of the oven. (Heat rises.)

4. Set the timer to the time listed in the recipe.

5. Ring goes the timer.

6. Check the bottom of the dough: color (dark golden brown) and firmness (can not be sticky). Make sure that the Qurban is completely baked through.

  • The appearance of the bottom crust is more important than the appearance of the top crust because the dough under the Holy Seal impression must be firm.
  • Usually, the Qurban is not done before 13 -15 minutes.
  • The outside may look done, but the inside maybe still "doughy/soft".
  • "Doughy/soft" Qurban does not cut properly.

7. Remove the Qurban and the flat baking surface from the oven.

Cool the Qurban

1. Move the Qurban from the flat baking surface to a cooling rack. A cooling rack has widely spaced bars to put the food and has feet to rise the rack from its sitting surface.

2. Leave the Qurban on the cooling rack for several hours.
Air must circulate over and under the rack for the Qurban to cool.
Warm Qurban can not be used because it will not cut properly.

When to Make the Qurban Dough for Sunday

1. Start the process on Friday night (first knead and first rise over night)

2. Continue the process on Saturday morning (second knead and second rise for several hours)

3. Bake on Saturday afternoon for Sunday morning (third knead).

Do not to bake the Qurban on the day on which the Qurban is to be used. Warm Qurban can not be used because it will not cut properly.
The Qurban must be internally cool. The cooling process can take several hours.

How Store Qurban

Qurban can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer when the weather is warm or when the Qurban will not be used for several days,
If the Qurban is frozen, then defrost the Qurban very slowly and carefully.

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Recipe Hints for Qurban for Holy Eucharist and the Antidoron Word .doc file
Recipe Hints for Qurban for Holy Eucharist and the Antidoron Adobe Acrobat .pdf file


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O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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