Recipe for Holy Bread (Kurban)
2 packages or 2 cakes of Active Dry Yeast
4 2/3 cups lukewarm water
2kg. Bag of Bread or regular bleached flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Dissolve yeast in 2/3 cup lukewarm water. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in large bowl making a depression in the centre. Pour remaining water, and dissolved yeast into centre of flour. Begin mixing flour with liquid until all flour is well-worked into dough.
Knead until a smooth dough results and the sides of the bowl are clean. (Hands are occasionally dipped in more water while kneading to give a smooth, elastic finish.)
Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume (1—2 hours). Divide into 10 equal parts (weighing 14 ounces each) and form into smooth balls. Cover with towel and let rise again on cloth, about 30 minutes.
Roll balls into “¼ to ½ ” thick circles. After rolling all the balls, press firmly in centre with the Seal for Holy Bread. Using a toothpick, prick a triangle of holes just outside last ring of the mold, spacing the holes in four equal places around the design. (Be sure holes do not touch ring.)
Cover and let rise 35–40 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15–20 minutes until golden brown. Temperature of the oven may vary.
When removing bread from oven, wipe both sides of loaf with a cloth dipped in Rose Water.
Five loaves are offered to the Church. The seal taken from the first loaf becomes Holy Communion; the second, for the Mother of God; the third, for the Angels and the Saints; the fourth, for the living; and the fifth, for the deceased. This recipe makes approximately 10 loaves. I normally double this recipe in order that I can offer an odd amount (usually 17).
Prayers that can be said before and after Baking the Holy Bread (Kurban)
Before Baking/While Preparing:
Dear Lord, Bless this, the work of the hands of the unworthy servants. Bestow upon us purity of heart, clarity of thought, strength and skill of hand to successfully complete this great honour. May it be to the building of your Kingdom and your people through the transforming power of your most Holy Eucharist. Amen.
Dear Lord, This bread that we have baked represents each one of us in this family and in our congregation. We are offering ourselves to you; we offer our very life in humble obedience and total commitment to you. We place ourselves on your Holy Altar through this bread to be used by you in any way that you feel will help enlarge your Kingdom. Accept our gift and make us worthy to receive the greater gift that you will give us when you consecrate this bread and give it back to us as your precious body. Amen.
Optionally instead of the above prayers the Greek Tradition does the following: Before baking make the sign of the Cross over the bread and say the “Lord’s Prayer” and/or a short prayer for those for whom you are baking the bread.