Recipe: St. Joseph's Bread (Pane di San Giuseppe) (2024)

Recipe: St. Joseph's Bread (Pane di San Giuseppe) (1) ST. JOSEPH'S BREAD (PANE DI SAN GIUSEPPE)

"St. Joseph's Bread is a traditional bread served on St. Joseph's Day, March 19. It is an egg bread with a crumb that has a tighter, denser weave, allowing the dough to be used for fancy bread-sculpting designs. Breads in the form of crosses, staffs, wheat sheaves, images of St. Joseph, and braids of the Blessed Mother adorn the St. Joseph table and are eaten throughout the feast day. I make this bread throughout the year when I am in a sculpting mood."

1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar or honey

7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 large eggs, beaten slightly

Extra flour for work surface and kneading (if necessary)
1/2 cup yellow or white cornmeal

1 whole egg
1 tablespoon water

To proof the yeast, pour 1/2 cup warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the surface, and stir with a fork for about 30 seconds. Let stand for 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy. (If the yeast does not froth, it is no longer active and should be discarded.)

While the yeast is proofing, place the flour and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Make a deep well in the center of the flour by pushing flour up the sides of the bowl. Pour the proofed yeast mixture, the 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and eggs into the well in the flour.

Holding the edge of the large bowl with one hand, use the other hand to mix the liquid into the flour. Starting from the center, slowly work your way around the bowl, incorporating a little of the flour at a time. Keep going around until all the flour and liquid is combined to form a soft dough. Rub the extra dough clinging to your hand into the mixture. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the stickiness is gone. If there is flour left in the bowl, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the ingredients are combined into a non-sticky mound of dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly oil your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. This dough needs to be firmer than other bread doughs; knead more flour into it. The firmer the dough, the easier it is to get more definition in your sculpted bread. It will not rise as much, allowing you to make more intricate designs.

To knead, divide the dough in half. Knead for about 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will become smooth, elastic, and satiny.

Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in the palm of your hand and rub the oil over the entire surface of the dough. Place the dough in a large, unscented plastic bag. Push all the air out of the bag and close it at the top with a twist tie, leaving room for the dough to rise and double in bulk inside the bag. Place in a draft-free warm spot (about 80 degrees F) to rise.

In about 1 1/2 hours, the dough should be ready. To check on its progress press two fingertips about 1/2 inch into the dough. If the indentations remain when your fingertips are removed, the dough is ready. Punch the dough down and knead briefly to distribute the air bubbles, about 30 seconds.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cornmeal on each of two 17x11-inch baking sheets. Divide the dough into two portions and form loaves. Place the loaves on the baking sheets. Brush top with egg wash. Allow enough room for each to double in size. The second rising will take about 1 hour.

Prepare the oven by arranging on oven rack on the bottom shelf and the other on the second from the top shelf. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place one baking sheet on the bottom rack and bake for 15 minutes, then transfer it to the upper rack, baking for an additional 15 minutes. Place another baking sheet on the bottom rack. This is my staggering technique of baking, making the best use of the oven space, allowing you to be more efficient. The loaves will take 30 minutes to bake. You will know the bread is done if it makes a hollow sound when you tap on it or by its golden brown color.

When done, remove the bread from the baking sheets immediately and place on wire racks or kitchen towels to cool.

- If you are going to use the bread on the same or following day, store the loaves at room temperature in a brown paper bag. This will help retain a good crust. The bread will keep fresh this way for up to 2 days.
- This bread freezes very well and will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Wrap individual loaves in heavy-duty aluminum foil and place in reclosable plastic freezer bags. To reheat frozen bread, remove plastic bag and allow to defrost at room temperature. Place unwrapped bread directly on the oven rack in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 7 to 10 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves, about 1 1/3 pounds each
Source: Cooking With Grace: A Step-By-Step Course in Authentic Italian Cooking by Grace Pilato

Recipe: St. Joseph's Bread (Pane di San Giuseppe) (2024)


What are you supposed to do with the bread in St Joseph altar? ›

Many altars offer gift bags to visitors. They usually contain sweets, such as fig cookies, a piece of bread, a blessed fava bean and a prayer card. Rather than eat the bread, some New Orleanians believe you should put it in the freezer.

What is the meaning of St Joseph's bread? ›

Joseph's Tables. Once considered cattle feed, fava beans were the one food which survived the Sicilian drought, sustained the people, and saved them from starvation. The use of bread crumbs in food preparation is said to represent saw dust in commemoration of St. Joseph's work as a carpenter.

How do you reheat lavash bread? ›

If you don't plan to eat the lavash within a few hours, you have a couple of options. The bread keeps for a day or so stored in a zipper lock plastic bag, but is best refreshed by either heating it in a low oven for a few minutes or by moistening it with water and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes to rehydrate.

How do you set up a St. Joseph Altar? ›

St. Joseph altars, representing the Holy Trinity, are divided into three sections with a statue of St. Joseph at the head. The devout place candles, figurines, flowers, medals, and other items around the altar creating a beautiful, lush, and overflowing effect.

What does bread symbolize in the altar? ›

Bread is the staple food of physical life, and Eucharistic bread is the staple food of the spiritual life. At the Last Supper, Jesus took a loaf of unleavened bread and said, “Take and eat, this is my body” (Mt 26:26; Mk 14:22; Lk 22:19). The consecrated bread is Jesus himself, the Real Presence of Christ.

Is St. Joseph's Day Polish or Italian? ›

Joseph's Day or the Feast Day of St. Joseph became a popular day of celebration for Czechs. The holiday is more common in Europe than America and Czechs share the holiday with Polish and Italians, particularly Sicilians. The feast of St.

What is the holiest bread? ›

Sacramental bread, also called Communion bread, Communion wafer, Sacred host, Eucharistic bread, the Lamb or simply the host (Latin: hostia, lit. 'sacrificial victim'), is the bread used in the Christian ritual of the Eucharist. Along with sacramental wine, it is one of two elements of the Eucharist.

What is the traditional dessert that is eaten on St. Joseph's Day and why do we eat it? ›

The Origin Story

Joseph and zeppole. One theory traces back to the biblical story of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fleeing to Egypt. It's said that during this time, Joseph sold sweet pancakes to support his family, creating an association between his name and sweets – like zeppole.

What is the difference between naan bread and Lebanese bread? ›

Naan bread is soft, fluffy, and chewy, whereas pita bread is denser with a slightly crispy texture on the outside. Naan bread also has a buttery flavor due to the ghee and buttermilk in the dough, which adds an extra dimension of flavor compared to pita bread's more neutral taste.

What is Lebanese bread called in English? ›

Pita bread

It is thin and puffs up as it bakes. Since it does not contain any added fat, it dries out rapidly and is best consumed while still warm; later, it may become chewy. The "pocket" pita originated in the Middle East. It is also known as Arab(ic) bread, Lebanese bread, or Syrian bread.

Is Lebanese bread better than normal bread? ›

While similar in calorie content, one slice of wheat bread (29g) is higher in sugar and lower in dietary fiber than one small pita bread. It is also slightly higher in sodium and fat content. Since most people eat two slices of bread in one sitting and only one pita bread, pita bread may be a healthier option.

Is lavash healthier than bread? ›

Lavash Bread. Our signature Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Lavash breads are one of the healthiest bread options around, with the same great taste you've grown to love from Joseph's!

Why is Lavash Bread so good? ›

Lavash is a paper-thin, pillowy-soft flatbread that's a beloved staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. I've adapted the traditional Armenian method to make a lavash recipe that's easy to accomplish at home. Tender and fragrant, this versatile flatbread is perfect for wraps, dips, alongside soup, meat, fish and more.

What is the difference between lavash and flatbread? ›

Lavash is a fully baked flatbread that is usually lower in sodium, less doughy and chewy, and generally contains less oil. Lavash's rectangular shape makes it easier to fit in lots of good stuff inside when you're making wraps.

What do you do when the priest gives you bread? ›

The Priest/Eucharistic Minister will then place the Host on your tongue. Once you feel the Host on your tongue, take the Host into your mouth with your tongue. If you wish to receive the Precious Blood - the choice is yours bow your head and shoulders slightly as the person before you is receiving from the chalice.

Do you eat the food at a St Joseph altar? ›

Food covers the altar in gratitude to St. Joseph for alleviating hunger, representing abundance. It is traditional for the remaining edible portions of the altar to be donated to give back to the community. This celebration is said to have originated in New Orleans as a result of Italian immigration in the early 1800s.

What does the priest do with the bread and wine? ›

The liturgy of the Eucharist includes the offering and the presentation of bread and wine at the altar, their consecration by the priest during the eucharistic prayer (or canon of the mass), and the reception of the consecrated elements in Holy Communion.

What does the priest do to the bread? ›

By the consecration, the substances of the bread and wine actually become the substances of the body and blood of Christ (transubstantiation) while the appearances or "species" of the bread and wine remain unaltered (e.g. colour, taste, feel, and smell).

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 6220

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Birthday: 2001-07-17

Address: Suite 794 53887 Geri Spring, West Cristentown, KY 54855

Phone: +5934435460663

Job: Central Hospitality Director

Hobby: Yoga, Electronics, Rafting, Lockpicking, Inline skating, Puzzles, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Clemencia Bogisich Ret, I am a super, outstanding, graceful, friendly, vast, comfortable, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.