St. Stephen’s Bread

This recipe was passed on to me by Bruce Shuttleworth of the Episcopal Church of St. Simon and St. Jude, in Irmo, South Carolina, on November 30, 2016.  He had been making the bread for about 18 years, and his mother before him had made the bread.  She got the recipe from a St. Stephen’s church in Virginia.


5 and 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 and 13/4 oz of very warm water
2 pkgs highly active yeast
6 tablespoons of honey

Mix the water, yeast and honey, and let it prove for about 20 minutes.  Combine with the flour — it should take about 5 cups.  Coat the dough liberally with some of the remaining flour, and put it into a bowl.  Let it rise for one hour in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Turn it out onto a floured board, and roll it to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.   Let it rest for a few minutes.  Cut into circles about five inches in diameter.  Use a very sharp knife to cut the cross into each circle, about 1/8″ deep.  The bread should fold back from the slice.

Bake the bread for 12 minutes, then turn each loaf so that it doesn’t stick, and also turn the pan in the oven.  Bake for another 7-8 minutes, for 20 minutes total.

This makes five loaves.   Each quarter loaf serves 20-25 people.

Tips from Bruce:
* Use a small saucepan lid to cut the circles.
* Kroger whole wheat flour has been the best local whole wheat flour to use in Irmo.
* Bruce tried 325 and 375 degree ovens, but 350 works the best.