Gluten Free Communion Bread Recipe: Allergen Friendly, Easy and Tastes great too

bread I have been working on a simple bread recipe for communion for most of the four years we have been attending seminary, and now just before we graduate, I am happy to post this recipe. I hope to follow-up with more information, so please ask any questions you have either in the blog comments or contact me directly. My requirements for this recipe included that it had to be not only gluten-free, but also free of all of the top allergens and preferably free of the common food sensitivities that many individuals with Celiac disease also seem to have. For these reasons I did not want to use a pre-mixed gluten-free flour blend. If you do decide to use such a blend, please look for one that is free of other allergens, and be sure to post all of its ingredients when you post the recipe you use for the communion bread you are serving. The bread also had to taste good (I have a tough crowd to please here as my testers) and be easy to work with when tearing it for communion. I think this recipe meets those requirements–and I would love to hear from you when you try it!.

See detailed notes below the recipe as I begin to answer question!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare baking pan by lining with parchment paper
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix well with a whisk, and leave a well for mixing in wet ingredients.bread2
  3. Mix wet ingredients (oil, vinegar, water) in together and pour into dry ingredients.
  4. Mix well by hand for a couple of minutes until it comes together as a thick sticky batter.
  5. Divide into roughly 4 equal portions and shape into round loaves on the prepared pan. If you want the loaves scored with a cross, do so now and very lightly coat with oil)
  6. Put in oven for about 12 minutes (time may vary by oven or if you are baking multiple pans at once)
  7. Remove from oven to again coat lightly with oil and re-score the cross if desired. TURN OVEN UP to 400 degrees and bake approximately 12 more minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and place the loaves directly on cooling rack. COOL COMPLETELY.

This makes 4 loaves that are about 6 inches in diameter depending on how flat you make them.

 

Below is a chart with half and double recipe amounts on it as well!!

 

 

Gluten
Free Communion Bread Recipe

 

HALF

Recipe batch (4 loaves)

Double

Brown Rice flour

½ cup plus 2 T.

1 ¼ cup

2 ½ cups

Tapioca starch/flour

½ cup plus 2 T.

1 ¼ cup

2 ½ cups

Teff Flour

¼ cup

½ cup

1 cup

Sugar

2 T.

¼ cup

½ cup

Baking soda

¼ tsp

½ tsp

1 tsp

Baking powder

½ tsp

1 tsp

2 tsp

Salt

¼ tsp

½ tsp

1 tsp

Psyllium husks (whole)

3 T.

6 T.

¾ cup

Oil (grape seed or mild olive oil work well)

2 T.

¼ cup (or 4 T. if prefer measure that way)

½ cup

Apple cider vinegar

¼ tsp

½ tsp

1 tsp

Water

1 cup

2 cups

4 cups

 

Notes:

  •  Please use parchment paper.  The parchment paper not only serves to keep the bread from sticking to some pan surfaces, but also is essential to keeping a gluten-free environment if you do not have a dedicated gluten-free kitchen. I realized after inserting it that I did not use parchment paper on the batch I took a picture of above, but that baking stone has ONLY ever been used for gluten-free baking (we keep an entirely gluten-free kitchen). If you use your pans for baking things with gluten, PLEASE use clean parchment paper to cover the surface of the pan as some individuals are sensitive enough to cross contamination that a speck of a crumb left behind could make a difference.
  • I can currently find all of these ingredients in my local grocery store (although the psyllium husks can be trickier and I prefer to order the Frontier brand from Amazon; look in the health food and supplements section of the store as it is sold as a digestive supplement). I link to the items online for your convenience to see what the products look like, and am not endorsing any particular online place to purchase them. The best price continues to vary, but feel free to share in comments where you prefer to purchase your gluten-free flours. I have made many batches with the Bob’s Red Mill brand I linked to, but I have also used other brands of these particular flours.
  • If you want to be sure the bread is completely CORN FREE as well, you will need to use a corn free baking powder (or make your own)
  • The Psyllium husks are essential to this recipe, and even ingredients with similar properties, such as flax seeds, have not given the same texture. I am experimenting with using less of it though. If you experiment and it works well, please leave a comment.

 

Acknowledgement:

This recipe was inspired by multiple recipes from food blogger Brittany Angell. You can order her wonderful cookbooks on amazon and follow her blog for many free recipes or to sign up for her recipe club. If you are new to gluten-free baking, I highly recommend her baking guides as they explain the properties of the various flours.

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6 thoughts on “Gluten Free Communion Bread Recipe: Allergen Friendly, Easy and Tastes great too

    • Sorry for the delay in replying as this comment seemed to get lost in my notifications.

      I think it freezes OK. It’s never as good as fresh, and if made thicker it seems to be much more crumbly. For this reason I am currently experimenting with making thin sheets of the bead rather than (thicker) round loaves. This also can hep when tearing into strips for indicting or square-like pieces for non-intonation communion.

      I recommend fully cooling the bread and then wrapping either individual loaves or the amount you want to thaw at one time in foil and then also putting in freezer bags. Try to use up in a month or two ideally.

      I will try to share more how this is working for us after I am more reguarly baking only once a month or so and freezing. I’m very picky about taste and texture of bread so I will probably always prefer fresh, and yet practically speaking it would have to be very bad to not be better than wafers!! 🙂

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I’m working towards a recipe that my whole congregation will love enough that it can be our only communion bread, and not just a GF option. (So, I’m working with the though taste testers, too…just in a different way.) My first pass was very dense…might have been a bit under-baked. And the slightly sour aftertaste (which I think is the psyllium husks) bothered me a bit…though our worship team and I both agree it’s better than anything we’ve tried so far! For the second bake I subbed honey for the sugar (1:2 ratio) and offset with a tiny bit more baking soda, and did 2/3 as much psyllium husk. It seems to have turned out quite well…with a better rise than my last attempt. The psyllium taste is a less, and there still seems to enough binder in the loaf. Only other variable – I made this batch in little 2 inch loaves (which are the size we use now along with our other communion bread, as an alternative option); so that may have affected the bake.

    • Thank you for the feedback. I love hearing about customizing the recipe(s) for individual congregations. I have not had anyone mention it being dense or sour, and have never thought psyllium husks have any flavor (maybe it depends on brand?), but have experimented with using less for texture and practicality, but have never gotten to the point where I wanted to overall recommend it. So many things can affect GF baking though. I recently switched to a different baking powder that is supposed to work better with GF flours so yes, many many variables.

      One reason I avoided honey was due to a specific serious allergy in the community I was worshiping with in my seminary, and then it seemed simpler to use the granulated sugar as well, but I know many communion bread recipes use honey and often molasses as well. As always just be sure the recipe is published and that should help with any unusual allergies in the community or with visitors.

      I know of at least one other congregations as well as the two congregations I now serve full time that use this bread for everyone at communion (I am only comfortable serving GF bread so when I preside, it is a must)

      I need to update this blog soon, and now that I am leading worship every Sunday again I have even more incentive as I am experimenting with shape and “loaf” size as well, and the recipe holds up to that experimenting. OF course it is always good to have options and I have also been keeping an eye out for GF mixes and store-bought that might work as well.

      • Thanks for this reply. I wanted to let you know that in subsequent bakes the odd flavor tinge wasn’t there. (This is using honey still.) So, that’s good. Also, we still offer GF as an option, not the only bread right now. And I did want to mention that it’s been holding up well baked into mini-rounds with 4-6 servings per round…frozen and reheated so I can make a big batch for a number of weeks ahead of time. Being able to freeze and the warm to thaw is really helpful, and it’s been working well.

  2. Made this for my congregation as an experiment (we usually just offer GF wafers) and they loved it! I found that it was a bit crumbly for intinction, but bearable. My parishioners recommended that I keep one whole ‘loaf’ for the fraction and pre-cut the other ones into manageable pieces for distribution. This is the best recipe I’ve found so far and it’s much more reasonable cost-wise than I expected.

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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