St Basil Prosphora Recipe and Instructions

Father Nick Makes Prosphora 

This method will result in a very dense bread, necessary for the Prosphora, as it has to be cut into precise, small pieces during the Proskomedia service, and additionally, will be immersed in the wine for the Eucharistic Feast.  We don’t want the bread to dissolve in the wine.  Because of all of this, we want the bread to rise as little as possible while we are making it to ensure a firm, dense crumb. This means it is important to work quickly.

The dough is rolled out and cut into Lambs, and Prosphora loaves. The Lambs are the larger loaves, and the Prosphora are the smaller ones (however, we do refer to all of it as Prosphora). Each loaf consists of two layers of the same diameter, pressed together with a seal on the top. Each Lamb needs to have 4 Prosphora loaves for one of our services.

Important distinctions that set Prosphora apart from other breads you may have made:

  1. Very dense with very little crumb
  2. Very light in color – only the underside should show signs of even slight browning. 
  3. Little to no crust.  Father needs to be able to cut through the outside with minimal resistance.
  4. We try to stay, as much  as possible, in a prayerful state while making the Prosphora. Say your prayer rule, say the Jesus Prayer, listen to Church music or an  appropriate podcast.

Begin by making the sign of the cross and asking the Lord to assist you.

Preheat Oven to 330F


9 cups Gold Medal AP flour

~2.5 cups water

1 T instant dry yeast

3 heaping teaspoons salt


1 Prosphora Seal – 3” across

1 Prosphora Seal  – 1.75” across

Rolling pIn

2 Baking sheets 

Parchment paper

Cookie Cutters – circular – 3.5” and 2” across

Optional – a large piece of canvas to roll the dough out on

*Place 4.5 cups Gold Medal AP in large mixing bowl

*Pour scalding water (about 2.5 cups) over flour and mix to the consistency of very thick oatmeal.  Conditions  vary from  one  day to the next, and from one kitchen to the next, so adjust  accordingly.

*Pat down, cover with plastic wrap, and place in freezer for 15 minutes

*Remove from freezer and knead to distribute moisture and even out temperature.

*Mix in 3 heaping teaspoons of salt, and 1 Tablespoon Fleishman’s Instant dry yeast.

*Add 4.5 cups flour a bit at a time

*Knead until well combined and elastic, about 3 – 4 minutes if using a heavy duty electric mixer, or about 15 minutes by hand

*Roll out on floured board to one inch and cut out 3 or 4 Lambs, depending on how many are needed. Set extra dough aside under bowl.

*Smear one inner side with water generously and stack two matching pieces together pressing down vigorously. Smack down  onto counter top and press with seal while repeating the Jesus Prayer. Continue to shape sides, pressing with palms of hands and gently rolling along its edge.

*Prick each Lamb  with a clean toothpick in the form of a cross saying, “Christ Jesus conquers all.”

*Bake on parchment lined pans for 24 minutes on bottom rack and then check for color on bottom. When very light golden on bottom, transfer to top rack and bake for 4 more minutes on top rack.

Roll out and prepare Prosphora while Lambs are baking using the same technique as before. Make 4 Prosphora for each Lamb.