Mepkin Abbey Mushrooms

The monks now offer dried shiitake and oyster mushrooms.   Their dried and powdered mushrooms are available for sale in the Abbey Store. The White Oyster Mushrooms are also featured in select downtown Charleston restaurants. Cooking with dried mushrooms is easy.  Oyster mushrooms have long been cultivated in Asia for their medical benefits as well as excellent taste and are a rich source of B-Vitamins.   Dried mushrooms have a concentrated and powerful flavor, so you need less of them per recipe.

Currently, Mepkin Abbey has two cookbooks on sale; they are Baking with Brother Boniface, Baking with Br. Boniface has some of the recipes Br. Boniface made for the monks during his decades of being Mepkin Abbey’s cook.  Included in this book is the recipe for Mepkin Abbey Cinnamon Buns

Food for Thought – Mepkin Abbey Fare is by Fr. Joe Tedesco, Mepkin’s current Superior. Before taking that office, Fr. Joe was Mepkin’s cook for many years. This book contains some of his favorite recipes. Attached is one of them – Two Bean Chili. Since the monks are mostly vegetarian, all of these recipes are vegetarian.

Two Bean Chili Recipe:

Chili is surely a favorite among so many and this recipe makes it easy to provide it more often.

  • ½ pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 16-ounce can red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup barbeque sauce
  • ¼ cup chili powder


In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the mushrooms, peppers, celery, onion. And jalapeno in oil until onion is lightly browned. Add garlic, cumin, and oregano; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Stir in tomatoes, beans, carrot, water, barbeque sauce, and chili powder. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.

Serves 4-5


Both cookbooks are available on Mepkin’s web site on this page:

Mepkin Abbey

Many know the story of Mepkin Abbey, Mepkin Abbey is a community of Roman Catholic monks established in 1949 on the site of the historic Mepkin Plantation located on the Cooper River located in Berkeley County and just north of Charleston, South Carolina.  For more information on Mepkin Abbey visit

One of the hidden gems is when the monks first came to Mepkin Abbey in those early years at Mepkin to support themselves, the monks made cinnamon buns and sold them in downtown Charleston. Many Charlestonians still remember those days.

Here is the recipe for Mepkin Abbey’s Cinnamon rolls:


  • 2kgs (1/2 oz.) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • ¼ lb. butter, melted
  • Cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 ½ teaspoon if ground cinnamon)
  • 2 cups raisins, soaked and drained
  • Egg wash (1egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (or more) boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together.

If it is too thick to “drizzle”, add a bit more water.

Preheat oven to 350* (fifteen minutes before baking)

Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water (105*-115*) with 2 teaspoons sugar and set aside for 10 minutes until mixture starts to bubble. Gently heat milk, butter and ¼ cup sugar in saucepan. Cool.

Whip eggs into milk mixture. Measure flour and salt into bowl. Make a well in the flour. Add milk mixture and yeast mixture into the well. Blend flour in with a fork until all ingredients are well mixed. The dough will be sticky.

Place dough on a work surface that has been lightly dusted with flour. Work dough with your hands until dough no longer sticks to your hands. See Note*(Don’t add more flour unless necessary.)

Please dough in greased bowl. Keep in a warm place and let rise until double.

After it has risen, place dough on work surface and roll into a rectangular shape ¼ inch think. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with raisins and cinnamon sugar. (Reserve some cinnamon sugar if desired for topping)

Roll lengthwise and cut roll into 14 one-inch slices. Place buns cut side down into 2 greased 9” round cake pans. Place buns close together (just touching).

Let rise in pan until double. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.

After baking, while buns are still hot, sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar or drizzle with glaze.

Yield: 14 buns.

*Note: This step can also be done with a paddle attachment on a mixer. Work until dough comes away from the side of the bowl and is no longer sticky.