There are those special foods that simply speak to tradition, to holiday, to holyday.
There is absolutely no reason that Mom’s mouth-watering Pecan Crisps could not be baked year round but we only have them at Christmas and only Mom takes on that loved-filled task to bake a double batch to be stored in the yellow cookie jar. The same is true when making Altar Bread using a recipe from Father Fred Devett, TOR (Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular.) Years ago, while in library school, baking altar bread was a biweekly task for Sunday Mass at St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center shared between my friend Hedy and me. While my grad school days are a reminiscent blur of classes, daily flavors of Babcock ice cream, and sunny afternoons on Memorial Union Terrace sitting on the iconic Sunburst chairs, this recipe holds a deep celebration of Spring.
Again, a simple recipe that could certainly be made anytime but now I only bake it for Maudy / Holy Thursday. Not quite truly unleavened as required for Pesach / Passover, while this recipe does not include yeast thus eliminating the time required for it to rise but it does include baking powder to give a little volume and lighten the texture. The blend of unbleached and whole wheat flour, baking powder, just a pinch of salt, milk, and honey combine for a sweet, dense communion bite.