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Catholic Recipe: Vuccidrato -- Joseph's Staff


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 quart warm water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 16 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg, beaten


Yield: 3 large staffs

Prep Time: 4 1/2 hours

Difficulty: • • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:11+

Origin: Italy


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Also Called: St. Joseph's Bread -- Joseph's Staff; Pane de San Giuseppe

This recipe is from Preserving Our Italian Heritage. This makes a large quantity of bread; the 16 cups of bread flour is not a typographical error! The pane grosso, big bread, for San Giuseppe (St. Joseph) is shaped like the saint's staff, which burst into bloom when he was chosen to be Mary's husband.


In a bowl, mix sugar, salt, eggs, water, yeast and oil. Then mix in the flour. Knead dough on a floured board until smooth. Let rise. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 3 equal parts. Roll dough to about 2 1/2 feet long. Place on a greased baking sheet in the shape of a candy cane. Slightly flatten the dough with the heel of your hand. With scissors at a 45° angle, make 1-inch snips along both sides and on the top of the dough. (Snips should all go in the same direction.) Let rise until double in bulk. Bake in a hot 400° oven for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Recipe Source: Recipes for a Holy Family by Holy Family Academy, Manassas, VA, Morris Press, 1999