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I have been making prosforon for about 18 years and if you are a prosforon baker, you may be able to relate to what brought about this design.
I tried many recipes for prosforon in the hopes that I could find a recipe that would make a readable seal every time. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Each time it was my turn to bake the prosforon for my church, I found that instead of my having a humble and prayerful heart, I would be filled with anxiety. I wondered if I would get a good seal in order for my priest to say communion prayers, or if I would have to make it again and again until he would be able to read the seal.
As I continued to try, I kept thinking that there must be a better way to insure a good seal impression every time. Since I am an amateur potter, I had an idea that maybe a pottery bowl with a seal in the base might work. While the idea was good, the properties of pottery clay made the prosforon dense and not the texture it should be.
I began searching for a company that would create a prototype, nonstick baking pan to my specifications. That was quite a challenge. Many doors closed, but with God's guidance, many doors opened. Finally, I found my pan maker and The Gifted Pan became a reality. The Gifted Pan's prosforon seal makes a great, readable impression - every time!
May God's blessings shine upon you as you bake.
Gifted Pan is a nonstick, heavy duty, cast aluminum 9" pan
*Directions for use with a KitchenAid mixer. if making without a mixer, knead for about 20 minutes or until a smooth dough is formed.
4C all-purpose flour
MIx dry ingredients together. Add water slowly, mixing until a dough is formed. Using you dough hook set on #2 speed, mix for about 8 minutes. You may add flour or water as needed to form a soft dough. The consistency should be so that the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl. Place the dough onto a floured surface, knead and form into a ball. Place in a bowl, cover with a clean cloth and let it rise until double in size ~ 30 minutes.
Close with the Trisagion Prayer
Once the dough has risen, punch down and let it rest for a few minutes. Pinch off ~ 1/3 of the dough. Knead, popping air bubbles with toothpick, then form into a ball with a very smooth surface. Flatten with a rolling pin. Place this portion upside down (smooth side down) into The Gifted Pan and press into the seal. The more time you take to press into the seal, the more distinct the impression will be. Take the remaining dough, knead, pop air bubbles and flatten as above. Place into The Gifted Pan and press down for an even surface. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for ~ 1 hour. When done, immediately remove from the pan and let it cool on a rack.
Close with the Trisagion and Prosforon Prayers
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us (3) Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, be gracious unto our sins. Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Your name's sake.Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name: Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Priest, if present,
If a priest is not
present, we say:
Dear Gifted Pan:
In summary it works.
I had never made bread before in my life and my first attempt with your bread pan and recipe came out flawless. The stamp was raised perfectly and the bread had great taste with a crusty outside and a soft inside.
Even guys who never pass through a kitchen except to "nuke" a snack can make this bread. I would even be honored to offer this to the church for blessing.
My Best Regards
Steven C. Thompson
Subject: Re: Emailing: Prosforon pan with Fr.Panayotis
"The prosforo pan has made it easy to make your offering and bring it to church for the Holy Eucharist. I tried the pan myself and the results are amazing. I am only using prosforo made with the pan for the proskomide because now I can have consistency in the bread and a beautiful seal to make the amnos from."
Fr. Panayiotis, Marietta, GA