While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26
As we come to the end of Holy Week, many symbols and traditions come to mind: foot washing on Maundy Thursday, the meaningful services which mark Good Friday, the vigil of Holy Saturday and finally the joy of Easter Sunday. Tucked among these landmarks of Holy Week is the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his disciples–the breaking of bread.
Throughout the Bible, bread serves as a vehicle for miracles, teaching illustrations and as symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice. It is also in the act of breaking bread that revealed his identity as the risen Christ. In this spirit, I am sharing one of my most favorite bread recipes.
Join with us this Holy Week as we break bread, united as the Body of Christ around our tables and throughout the world. With prayers for a healthy and joyful Eastertide!
- Mix yeast with warm water and allow the yeast to activate, about 10 minutes. It will be ready when bubbles form at the top.
- In a saucepan, heat milk and butter while yeast is activating.
- Whisk the egg, honey, spices and salt together in a small bowl. When ready, add yeast, and milk and butter mixture.
- Gently stir 2 c of the flour into the liquid mixture. Add flour 1/2 c at a time while mixing, and keep adding 1/2 cups of flour until the dough is smooth.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured counter until it is smooth and elastic.
- Place in a lightly oiled metal or glass bowl and cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down and form into a round loaf. Place it on the baking sheet, covered with a towel in a warm place for another 45 minutes.
- While dough is rising a second time, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Bake for 1 hour, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.
- lnsert a thermometer into the middle of the bread. If it registers between 180-190 the bread is finished.