Gluten Free Communion Wafers Recipe

Gluten Free Communion Wafers Recipe

Gluten free communion wafer recipe is a regular request I get. And in the spirit of living gluten free with no compromise, I thought it would be helpful to share some more information about the sacrament of the Eucharist, or Communion, from a gluten free point of view.

gluten free communion Wafers - gfJules

A metal pyx keeps the wafers segregated and safe from cross-contamination.

 

Tradition has held that the bread used for this holy rite, whether leavened or unleavened, be made from wheat. This tradition was confirmed in mid-2017 from a letter to the Diocesan Bishops, written by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments at the request of Pope Francis. The letter outlined that gluten must be present in the bread used to celebrate the Eucharist during Roman Catholic Mass.

The Catholic Church’s Canon Law actually already spelled out this requirement in the 1990s and 2000s. It was further enumerated in 2012 when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed to this statement: “it is impossible to consecrate a host made of something other than wheat and water.”

Thus, celiacs and the gluten intolerant have historically been left without a place at the communion table, unless they partook of only the wine (it is recommended that communicants receive both the Body and the Blood, but not required in the Catholic faith). Early in this millennium, that changed, after The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration developed a “low gluten” host made from wheat starch. (To learn more about the Sisters and the development of their wheat starch host, see this PBS video.)

This host contains .01% gluten, which is approximately 100ppm gluten; however, equating that amount of gluten (37 micrograms of gluten contained in one wafer) to scientifically established tolerable daily exposure levels (6 milligrams of gluten per day), one wafer would be well within the daily amount of gluten (0.04%) considered safe to those with celiac disease. GlutenFreeHosts also offers a low-gluten wafer (<20ppm) made from wheat starch.

Whether this low-gluten wafer is acceptable to you and to your doctor is completely up to you, and is a matter of considerable debate.

There is another option for Protestants, however: make your own.

homemade gluten free communion wafers

Growing up in the church, I learned that part of being involved as a member of a church community meant volunteering and helping where you could. One way I have been giving of myself to my church is to periodically bake the loaves for Communion of course this means that everyone is partaking of gluten-free bread when I’m the bread baker.

gluten free communion in bulletin

If you are in need of a great gluten-free bread recipe to bake for Communion at your church (or otherwise), have a look at this beautiful gluten free artisan bread recipe.

gfJules gluten free pita breads on rack 2

Unleavened gluten free pita breads free from the top 8 food allergens, as well.

 

These unleavened gluten free pita breads are also a great option, and have been a great way to have gluten free, top-8 allergen-free and yeast-free bread for intinction or otherwise as the communion table. I’ve been making them for my church this Lenten season for each service so that intinction can be inclusive and safe for all.

Recently though, my church asked me to start baking gluten-free Communion wafers for every service. I knew this would require creating a large enough recipe that would produce lots of wafers at one time and have a good shelf life. When I developed the right combination, I felt I should share it with you, too! Having the Host available to everyone, in every church, should be a mission we can all unite behind.

gluten free communion wafers in bulletin

Whether purchased or homemade, whether low-gluten or gluten-free, all Communion wafers for those avoiding gluten should be handled separately to prevent cross-contamination. The most common way of doing this is to place the special Hosts apart from the wheat Host, usually inside of a “pyx” — a metal, ceremonial box. These wafers are also blessed or consecrated by the priest or officiant.

Ask your church about providing gluten free communion wafers for you and other parishioners, or make your own and offer them to your church for the benefit of all. Every willing person should be welcomed at the table.

gluten free communion wafers in bowl

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Gluten Free Communion Wafers Recipe

gluten free communion Wafers - gfJules

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 mins.
  • Cook Time: 12 - 16 mins.
  • Total Time: 25 mins.
  • Yield: 150 wafers

Ingredients

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450° F (static) 425° F (convection).

Use a food processor or mix by hand in a large bowl: gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour and salt. Slowly add in the liquid while pulsing or stirring with a fork. If the dough is too dry, add additional water by the 1/2 teaspoonful in order to get dough wet enough to hold together in a ball but not be sticky.

Form a ball with the dough and pat out onto a pastry mat or clean counter well-dusted with gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. Pat with your fingers to flatten the dough, then roll gently in each direction until the dough is so thin you can almost see through it.

Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut and lift with a bench scraper or spatula, and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick each circle twice with a fork (I prick in both directions to make a cross shape). Roll out remnant dough to make more wafers.

Arrange all wafers on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They will not spread, so they may be placed quite close to each other on the sheets. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and lay another baking sheet on top to prevent the wafers from curling during the bake. Put an oven-safe heavy skillet on top of the second baking sheet to keep weight on top of the wafers as they bake.

Bake for 8-9 minutes then remove the second baking sheet. Continue to bake for 4-5 more minutes, until the wafers will are crisp but not browned.

Remove to cool on a wire rack.

Gluten Free Communion Wafers Recipe gfJules

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113 thoughts on “Gluten Free Communion Wafers Recipe

  1. Pingback: Church Online: Preparing for Communion | Gospel Community Church

  2. Are these wafers available for purchase?
    I would like to buy them for my church. I am not up to making them.
    Thanks 🙏
    (FYI -I thought Mathanial’s comment was inappropriate)

    • Hi KP – I had not seen Mathanial’s comment until you pointed it out. I have removed it; I completely agree it was inappropriate, so thank you for bringing it to my attention.
      Regarding making these for purchase, unfortunately I don’t make any finished baked out goods for sale. There are a few brands listed in the introduction to the recipe that do sell pre-made communion wafers though. Hopefully one of those will work for your church!
      Blessings,
      ~jules

  3. Would you give me an idea as to how long it takes you to make one batch? (Prep time only, baking time not included.)
    Thanks very much!

    • Hi Melody, no problem. It only takes about 5 minutes to make the dough, but the rolling out, cutting and prick the tops is the time consuming part. I’ve gotten it down to a minimum with practice, and it all depends on how many times you gather dough scraps and re-roll to cut out more crackers (versus just baking what you have and tossing the dough scraps), but I’d say allow 30 minutes for the making of the wafters before baking. I hope that helps!
      ~jules

    • Yes they absolutely can! I actually make a batch and store them in tupperware in the fridge at our church and they last for a couple months stored like that.
      ~jules

    • Hi Alexa, I’m sure it would work with regular wheat flour, but you may need to adjust the liquid proportion a bit. Just add liquid until the dough holds together well enough to roll it out.
      ~jules

    • Hi Monica, rice flour (while gluten free) is not a good substitute for wheat flour at all, and certainly not one you can use on its own to replace wheat flour. Here’s an article detailing more about gluten free flours and what works and what does not! 🙂 My gfJules Flour is the perfect blend of whole grain flours and starches so that recipes like this one turn out as they should. Rice flour is gritty and will also cause baked goods to crumble and fall apart — not what you’d want in a communion wafer or anything else, for that matter!
      All the best,
      ~jules

  4. As it recently occurred to me.
    Last month It just resonated. The meaning of passover and ministry of Christ! I have been working on being a better christian thru the devotion and sunday school lessons.
    The sacrofice of leaving Egytpland and longsuffering are the vital parts of eliminating the pride one can have getting a little bit comfortable in sin.
    Thank you Jules for sharing your story and honestly telling that it was a commitment by witch your volunteering, participating, and ability to include thoes of us that could be allergic to the yeast free sacrofice as there are many that truly believe!! It is fundamental and mindful!!! The Lord’s supper is important and keen to advocate the true meaning there of👣

    • Hi Brent, yes you absolutely could. We actually store a batch of these in tupperware in the fridge next to the nave at our church and they stay fresh for a couple months that way.
      ~jules

  5. Jules, trying this recipe for Sunday. Your flour is so good! Agree with your comments about volunteering and the inclusiveness of GF communion. Blessings to you! Amy

    • Thank you, Amy! I’m glad you’ll be able to make this recipe and help others enjoy the sacrament safely!
      Blessings,
      ~jules