St. Joseph Table Part 1: Bread

Joining Lucia Ferrara of Precious Blood Renewal Center in this episode of Cooking & Spirituality is Christen Cota, the pastoral associate at Holy Family Parish, in Kansas City, Missouri. Together they make bread for a St. Joseph’s Table.

St. Joseph Table Bread

  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup of milk + ⅓ cup of milk
  • ½ cup of lukewarm water
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 5 ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs for the dough mixture
  • 1 egg beaten for basting the loaf

The St. Joseph Table is an Italian-Catholic tradition, specifically a tradition from the island of Sicily, that dates back to the Middle Ages. The tradition tells us that the intercession to St. Joseph ended a severe drought and famine. The people remember this every year on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, by setting up communal tables laden with food to share with all in the community, especially with the poor.

Of all the special dishes associated with this tradition, bread baked in the shape of the saint’s staff or a sword, is the star the St. Joseph Table. Lucia and Christen show us how to make one of these special loaves.

Check out our other video in this Cooking & Spirituality series that shows you how to make “Pasta Milanese,” another St. Joseph Table special dish. Watch it Here.

All the articles and videos in the Cooking and Spirituality Series can be found here.

Cooking as a spiritual practice

St. Joseph, the Everyday Saint

The tradition of St. Joseph Tables is especially important this year, because Pope Francis has declared 2021 a “Year of Saint Joseph” to mark the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. You can read more about this in the pope’s apostolic letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”).

St. Joseph, Pope Francis says, helps us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day. In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”

Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.

[Lucia Ferrara, the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions using the form below or by sending an email to]

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