Prosphoro Baking

Prosphoro - which means "an offering" - is an ancient tradition in the Orthodox Church.

For the entire history of the Church, Christians have baked and brought bread to the for the Sacred Meal, Holy Communion. Prosphoro is specially-made bread, impressed with a seal, that is cut by the priest in a service called the "Proskomide" during which he prays for the living and the dead. The center portion, the Amno or Lamb, is that piece which will be consecrated during the Divine Liturgy. This is the bread that becomes the Body of Christ. 

Prosphoro Recipe


  • 6 cups country or all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups tepid water (100 ºF)
  • 1 recipe, Traditional Sourdough Starter {not reproduced here} or
  • 1 oz fresh yeast or
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast


  1. If using sourdough starter, reactivate it the night before. Otherwise, dissolve the yeast in one halfcup of the tepid water.
  2. Add 3-4 tablespoons flour and mix well. Let it stand for about 10 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  3. Meanwhile sift the flour with the salt into a kneading basin and make a well in the center.
  4. Pour in the sour-dough starter or the yeast mixture and the remaining tepid water.
  5. Gradually incorporate flour from the sides of the well into the water until all the flour is moist, and knead until a smooth and elastic dough is formed.
  6. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Knead the dough again for about 5 minutes and divide into 4 equal parts. Shape each part into a ball.
  7. Slightly flatten the balls into rounds, pressing with your palms, and flour them generously.
  8. Put the two rounds, one on top of the other, in a well-floured baking pan.
  9. Dip the religious seal in flour, shake off the excess and press it firmly onto the floured surface.
  10. Let the seal remain on dough for about 5 minutes and carefully remove it. Place the other two rounds, the same way, onto a separate pan.
  11. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk. Just before baking, prick inside and outside corners of cross with a wooden skewer to attain a flat-top appearance of the breads.
  12. Bake in a 400 ºF oven for 15-20 minutes, taking care not to burn them. As soon as they are removed from the oven, brush them with a little water, using a pastry brush.
  13. Cover the altar breads with a cotton towel and leave them to cool on a rack.