St. Joseph's Bread
This bread, called Pane di San Giuseppe, is traditionally made for the Feast
of St. Joseph on March 19.
- 2 to 3 cups unbleached flour
- 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2/3 cup hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons aniseed
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- Corn meal
- Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, honey, water, salt, butter and aniseed
in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Add raisins. Beat for another 10 minutes, adding flour until the dough begins
to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough
is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.
- Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat on all sides.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk about 1 hour.
- Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with corn meal or line one with kitchen parchment.
- Punch down the dough. Shape into a long loaf.
- Place the loaf on the baking sheet and make three or four 1/2-inch diagonal slashes
on the top. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in bulk about 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mist loaves with water or vinegar before baking and twice during baking.
- Bake about 40 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Traditionally, you shape the bread to look like a patriarch's beard
by making five torpedo loaves of graduated lengths, 1 long, 2 medium and 2 short.
Place them close together on a baking sheet in the following order: 1 short, 1 medium,
1 long, 1 medium, 1 short. They will rise together and you'll have Pane di San Guiseppe.