Italian Anise Easter Bread


1 cup Milk
1 cup Sugar
6 tablespoons Unsalted butter
2 teaspoons Active dry yeast
1 pch Sugar
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 )
6 cups unbleached (6 to 6 ½) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Baking powder
2 tablespoons Pure anise extract
1 Egg beaten, glaze
1 tablespoon Fennel seeds sprinkling


*Anise extract, or anise flavoring, can be purchased at most health-food stores. Or rum can be substituted. In medium saucepan or microwave-proof bowl, combine milk, the 1 c sugar and butter. Heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Let mixture stand until warm, 105-115 . In small bowl, sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over warm water. Stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. In large bowl, with
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes, adding only 1 tb flour at a time as necessary to prevent sticking. It is important that this dough remain very soft, and springy. Place in greased deep container, turn once to coat the top and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at cool room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 12 hours or as long as overnight. Gently deflate the dough and let rise again at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Gently deflate and divide the dough into 9 equal portions. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each portion into a rope 12" long.
Using 3 ropes for each braid, braid ropes together, tuck under the ends and place each braid into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Alternately place loaves on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk or 1" above the rims of the pans, 45 minutes to 1 hour. 20 before baking, preheat oven to 350 . Brush tops with the egg glaze, taking care not to let it drip down the sides of the pan. Sprinkle with fennel seeds. Bake in center of the preheated oven until deep golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately
Yields three 9x5 or free-standing braided loaves each serving 10). 150 cal; 4 gr fat; 22%% fat.




1.0 servings


Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 11:00pm


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