If one accepts the Real Presence (and I was intrigued to find that the overwhelming majority of Christians do, when this got discussed on another message board some months ago), the point is that the bread and wine are quite simply bread and wine until set apart by the Prayer of Consecration during the Eucharist service to function as the Body and Blood of Christ. (Please note that the phrasing there is broadbased, intended to cover everything from the Methodist doctrine to transubstantiation; please don’t nitpick it, because it’s intentionally ambiguous to cover a multitude of interpretations.)
Anglicans used to be fairly consistent in using wafers but today will use homebaked bread given by a parishioner either in place of or along with the wafers – and do not object to glutenfree wafers for celiac communicants.
Probably the most startling affirmation of the point in the first paragraph came a year ago, when my wife and I, serving on the Altar Guild, were setting up the communion elements for the principal service one Sunday morning. (We’d set up on Saturday, but there are steps to take down the setup for the early service and finish preparation for the main service that have to be done in the hour between them.) Barb got out the packet (it resembles a cellophane-wrapped stack of Ritz crackers) to add wafers to the supply to be consecrated, and ended up spilling a few wafers into the potting soil left by the flower arrangers. Aghast at having done so, she looked panicked, and the priest, who was robing a few feet away, said “Throw them out.” Barb must have looked questioning, and the priest added, “They’re nothing but unleavened bread until they’re consecrated – just throw them in the trash.”