50 Communion Wafer Recipes!

communion wafer

Please note: This is part of a section on questionable eBay ads.  The information below has not been tested or verified.  It ia presented as an historical document only.  In other words: try this at your own risk.


When I started out on this project, what I wanted to do was come up with THE communion wafer recipe.  I knew that there were companies that made the wafers, but being a curious sort, I wanted to try it on my own. 

What I found in the end is that, like religious matters in general, there is no consensus on what constitutes a communion wafer.  Some churches buy their wafers, and there is a good deal of variety in what is offered.  Some churches make their own wafers, and have made quite a variety of concoctions.  Some churches just go out and buy bread from the store and cut it up.  The size of communion wafers is as contested as the ingredients.  Some churches issue communion bread that is the same size and shape as Cheez-It crackers.  My own church just breaks up matzos and uses them.

What surprised me was the use of biscuit mix (Bisquick, etc.).  I never expected that to be an ingredient.

Standard communion wafers are made from wheat flour, water and sometimes salt.  There has been much controversy over other ingredients being added, such as other kinds of flour, sugar, and so on.  Barley flour, which was used when Jesus was alive, has also been used. 

Complicating matters are people with Celiac disease: they can't eat anything with gluten in it.  So special wafers need to be made for them (some make and bring their own). 

The most basic communion wafers are unleavened, as in Passover bread.

If you want to get completely authentic (as per biblical times), use barley flour for the flour and olive oil for the oil.

Rather than try to put forth the definitive communion wafer recipe (if there is such a thing), I have compiled all of the recipes into this collection.

The basic method for wafers:

Mix dough ingredients together and knead as per standard bread dough, until smooth and elastic.  Roll out on a floured board to 1/8" thickness.  Flour the tops lightly.  Using a round cutter, cut them to between 1 1/4" and 1 1/2" around.    Any bits of dough left can be kneaded together, rolled and cut again.  In fact, the dough is easier to work with after it has been re kneaded.  Draw a cross on them, if you wish.  Dust the extra flour off with a brush.  Place on greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on wire racks.

Additional methods:

I have tried making communion wafer dough in a bread machine, with great success.  Just set it on the dough cycle, and when it's done kneading, roll out the dough and cut it.


Most of these recipes produce a thick dough, like kneaded bread dough.  A thinner batter, made from 2 parts of flour to one part of water, will also work.  This can be rolled easily, but it will have a lighter texture when cooked.  Number 6 is a typical thinner batter recipe.  Please keep in mind that with a thin batter, you need to make sure your board and rolling pin are well coated with flour.

For loaves of yeast risen altar bread:

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-35 minutes, depending on how large the loaf is.  By sight, bake until the loaf is brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Below are some recipes for communion wafers.


Wafers by category/ingredients:

Unleavened wafers, from simple to complex:

1)

3 cups flour
1 cup water


2)

3 cups flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream


3)

2 cups flour
3/4 cup water
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt


4)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup water


5)

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup water


6)

3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 TBS oil
1 1/2 cups water


7)

3 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water

8)

2 cups flour
3/4 to 2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
1-3 tsp. oil (optional)
1-2 tsp. sugar (optional)

9)

3 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup water

10)

1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups flour
1/4 cup oil
1 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp. salt


11)

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp. whole wheat germ
1 tsp. salt


12)

2 TBS milk powder
1 cup water
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
4 tsp. oil


13)

1 cup flour 
1 cup whole wheat flour 
3 TBS oil 
2 TBS quick oats 
2/3 cup water 
1/2 tsp. salt


13)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
1 TBS milk powder
2 TBS oil
1 egg
1/2 cup water


14)

3/4 cup water
2 TBS oil
2 TBS milk powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 cups whole wheat flour


15)

2 eggs
2 TBS soy flour
2 TBS wheat germ
2 TBS milk powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
2 cups whole wheat flour


16)

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Sugar
1 egg
3 cups whole wheat flour


17)

2 1/2 cups flour 
3 TBS sugar 
4 tsp. cornstarch 
1 TBS baking powder 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk 
1 egg 


Leavened wafers/altar bread:

Baking powder leavened wafers/bread:


18)

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda (or baking powder)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup water


19)

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 TBS oil
1 cup water


20)

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup water


21)

2 cups flour
1 cup biscuit mix
1 tsp. salt
1 cup water


22)

2 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups flour
1 cup milk


23)

2 cups whole wheat flour 
1 TBS baking powder 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/4 cup oil 
1/2 cup milk 



24)

3/4 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 TBS oil
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt


25)

1 cup Biscuit mix
1/4 cup honey
1 cup cracked wheat flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk


26)

2 cups flour 
3/4 tsp. salt 
3 TBS oil 
2/3 cup milk 
2 tsp. baking powder 


27)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. baking soda
2 TBS oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup  water


28)

2 1/4 cups self rising flour 
1 cup buttermilk 
1/4 cup oil 
1 TBS sugar 
1 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. baking soda 


29)

3 cups flour
2 TBS wheat germ
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 TBS honey


30)

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water


31)

2 cups flour 
1 TBS baking powder 
2 tsp. sugar 
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup milk


32)

1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. molasses
1 cup buttermilk


33)

1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 TBS sugar
1 cup buttermilk


34)

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS honey
1 TBS oil


35)

1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 TBS water
1 TBS maple syrup
3/4 tsp. salt
2 TBS oil


36)

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS honey
1 TBS oil


37)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey


38)

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS honey
1/4 cup oil
1 cup water


39)

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup water


40)

3 cups flour 
2 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. baking soda 
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water 
1/2 cup buttermilk


41)

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
1/2 cup wheat germ 
1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. garlic powder 
1 tsp. sugar 
1/2 cup oil 
1 egg 
2 TBS cream
1/2 cup water


Yeast risen leavened wafers/altar bread:


42)

3 cups flour
1 cup water
1 tsp. yeast
3 TBS sugar
1 1/2 TBS oil
1 tsp. salt


43)

2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. yeast
1 cup water
3 TBS molasses
1 1/2 TBS oil
1 tsp. salt


44)

1 cup water
3 TBS honey
1 1/2 TBS oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups flour


No wheat wafers:

45)

1/2 cup cornmeal
2 cups white rice flour
6 TBS oil
2/3 cup water


46)

1/2 cup cornmeal
2 cups white rice flour
6 TBS oil
2/3 cup water


47)

2 cups rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 cup water


48)

3 cups gluten free flour
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/8 tsp xanthan gum


49)

2 3/4 cups white rice flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 TBS brown sugar


50)

2 TBS sugar
1 cup soy flour
1 cup potato starch
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp. salt
1 TBS shortening
6 TBS oil
6 TBS honey
1 cup water

                           

A few more words on risen altar bread:

My own researches on this subject keep revealing more and more information.  bible.crosswalk.com defines bread (artos) as:

1) food composed of flour mixed with water and baked
a) the Israelites made it in the form of an oblong or round cake, as thick as one's thumb, and as large as a plate or platter hence it was not to be cut but broken
b) loaves were consecrated to the Lord
c) of the bread used at the love-feasts and at the Lord's Table
2) food of any kind

Leavened altar bread is also called prosphora.  The standard prosphora recipe:

3 cups flour
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast

(note that there is no sugar, oil, eggs, or anything else besides the above four ingredients)

For those who want to make 100% authentic Bible era altar bread:

Look over the definition of bread supplied by bible.crosswalk.com.  A standard focaccia type loaf, made with just flour, water, salt and yeast would fit well in that definition.  Barley flour would make it even more authentic.  The bread would have to be leavened, as unleavened bread that was 3/4" thick or so would be too much like hardtack: hard and almost impossible to eat.

When I bake focaccia, I use a pizza pan, and just shape the focaccia to the pan.

I suspect that this will always be a work in progress, added to as I get more information.

After thinking about the above, I came to some realizations:

1) All bread until the early 20th century was made from wild yeast.  Bakers would use a number of methods to infuse their breads with wild yeast.  This can be difficult for a beginner to do.  The easiest way to get the slightly sour flavor of wild yeast is to make a sponge: that is, mix some of the flour with water and yeast, and let it ferment.

3 cups barley flour
1 cup water
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast


Mix the yeast, water and one cup of the barley flour together.  Put, covered, in a warm place and let sit for 4-8 hours.

Mix in the remaining 2 cups barley flour and the salt.  Knead until smooth and elastic (because barley is a low gluten flour, the dough will be sticky).

Put in an oiled bowl and oil the top.  Cover and set in a warm place for an hour.

Shape the dough onto a greased pizza pan (it will be crumbly).  Oil the top, and let sit in a warm place for an hour.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until brown.

This bread tastes wonderful.  It is dense and it is chewy.  It lends itself well to tearing into pieces.

The main problem with this recipe is that it would not be much appreciated by people now.  People expect bread to be light and fluffy.  So below is a modernized version of Biblical communion bread:

2 cups white flour
1 cup barley flour
1 TBS sugar
1 cup water
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast

Combine 1 cup of the white flour with the water, the sugar and the yeast.  Leave in the bowl, cover it and allow it to sit in a warm place for 4-8 hours.

Stir in the remaining flours and salt.  Knead until smooth and elastic.

Allow to rise, covered, in a warm place, for an hour.

Shape into a greased pizza pan.  Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.