St. Joseph's Day Bread

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“Posted by request. This bread is usually made once a year to celebrate St. Joseph's Day (March 19th). Prep time includes all kneading/rising time (approx. 2 1/2 hours).”
2hrs 55mins
2 braided loaves

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, shortening, sugar, oil and salt.
  2. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large mixer bowl, put 2 1/2 cups of the flour, add liquid (yeast) mixture.
  4. Beat by hand or on low speed of electric mixer until all ingredients are well blended.
  5. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  7. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (about 6-8 minutes of kneading).
  8. Shape dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl.
  9. Turn dough once to grease all surfaces.
  10. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled (about 40-60 minutes).
  11. Punch down dough, and divide it into 6 equal pieces.
  12. Cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  13. Roll each piece (by hand) into a 12 inch long rope.
  14. Using 3 ropes for each loaf, braid the dough and secure the ends of the braid by tucking the ends underneath.
  15. Place the braids on greased baking sheets.
  16. Cover the braids, and let rise until nearly doubled (about 30-45 minutes).
  17. Brush top and sides of loaves with the beaten egg.
  18. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  19. Bake in a 400°F oven for 25 minutes, or until bread tests done and is golden brown.
  20. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.

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