St. Joseph’s Bread

St. Joseph’s Bread

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


Makes 1 loaf – approx. 18-inches in length

For the Bread:

  • 2/3 cup warm milk, 110F
  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 3 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed or 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • egg wash: 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame seeds


  1. Stir the yeast into the warm milk and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  6. 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.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Brush the loaf with the eggwash and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.
  9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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