St. Joseph's Day Bread
Pan di San Giuseppe
St. Joseph's Bread is a bread that is traditionally served on St. Joseph's feast day (Feast of San
Giuseppe) which is March 19. The dough is shaped into a variety of designs for loaves that will adorn
the St. Joseph's Table. Traditional forms are crowns,crosses, staffs, wheat sheaves, images of St.
Joseph, and braids of the Blessed Mother. The bread has a texture similar to a good homestyle white
bread with a slightly sweet taste. Since St. Joseph was a carpenter by trade, breadcrumbs and
sesame seeds signify sawdust.
Some St. Joseph's Day breads also include raisins. If you wish to add them, use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of
golden raisins soaked in hot water for about 30 minutes to plump them. Drain them and add them to
the dough after the first rise and before you form the dough into ropes. Our recipe directions are for
making the dough with an electric stand mixer but, of course, you can mix and knead the dough by
hand and shape into other designs. This bread is nice with butter or jam; it also makes a good
sandwich bread, and a delicious French toast.
St. Joseph's Day Bread
(Makes 1 loaf - approx. 18-inches in length)
2/3 cup warm milk, 105 - 115 degrees F.
1 (1/4-ounce) package dry active yeast
3 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon anise seed or 1 teaspoon anise extract
Egg wash: 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Stir the yeast into the warm milk and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Beat the mixture with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, anise seed or extract, and another cup of flour.
Beat for 2 more minutes.
Change from the paddle attachment to a dough hook. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough starts to come together. You may not need to add all of the flour. Then allow the dough hook to knead the dough on medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch the dough down and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20 - 22-inch rope. Place the 2 ropes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Loosely twist the ropes together, tucking the ends under. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 - 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the loaf with the eggwash and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
GREAT PASTRY BOARD
Beautifully hand crafted of the finest hardwood by skilled woodworkers in Wisconsin. The board has a front lip and backsplash to protect your countertop while it stays in place. Perfect for rolling out bread or cookie dough, pie crusts and much more.
SIGNIFICANT FOR A FATHER,
A CARPENTER, OR PASTRY CHEF
DO YOU LOVE TO BAKE BREAD?