The usual schedule is as follows:
* * December 2020: Currently Ss Peter & Paul is using a 3 loaf recipe, divided into 5 pieces. So you would triple the recipe below and form into 5 smooth balls.
(please note: there is no sugar in Holy Bread and absolutely no grease on the pans)
For 1 large loaf:
1-1/2 cups very warm water
1 pkg dry yeast or 2 1/4 teas yeast
4 cups BREAD FLOUR
3/4 teas salt
1. Combine yeast and water in large bowl. Add approximately half of the flour and mix well until smooth (300 strokes)
2. Add enough of the remaining flour to work dough, it will be soft but not sticky
3. Knead 10 minutes
4. Form into smooth ball, lightly smooth flour on bottom and sides of ball, then place in pan. (can put on baking sheet, or use individual 8" or 9" cake pans). To prevent sticking, you can line pan with foil or baker's parchment paper
5. Cover, let rise 30 minutes in warm place
6. Sprinkle tops lightly with flour, press seal in very firmly. Pierce for bubbles around the edges, and pierce the 4 corners of the "lamb".
--Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for ~50 minutes. Remove from pan. Allow to cool on rack (do not let bread cool in pan!). Use soft brush to brush off excess flour from loaves. (consider getting yourself a small brush dedicated to only using on the holy bread)
LOTS of interesting facts and info about Holy Bread: www.prosphora.org Please note: this site is no longer active, but still is very informative!
A link explaining why Holy Bread must be made without sugar or whole wheat flour: http://www.prosphora.org/page4.html
The Monks Spiridon and Nikodim, Prosphora-Makers of Pechersk (XII), for 30 years fulfilled their obedience -- they baked prosphora. The Monk Spiridon came to the monastery during the time of the hegumen Pimen (1132-1141), already no longer young a man. The ascetic combined his work with unceasing prayer and the singing of psalms.
The square piece in the center is the piece that will be changed into the Body of Christ; it is called the Lamb of God. It has the letter ICXC NIKA. It means Jesus Christ Conquers
See the large triangular piece? This represents the Virgin Mary
See the nine smaller triangles? These pieces commemorate the angels, prophets, apostles and saints of the church.
During a service before liturgy starts, the priest breaks the bread and the seal and prays for the different people represented by the seal; the Theotokos, the prophets, angels… The priest also prays for all those living whose names have been submitted to him. Then he prays for all those who have passed away whose names have been submitted to him. Even if they are Orthodox Christians or not.