My family has been making this Easter bread for generations. It's origins are in a family bakery owned by my great-great aunts off the boat from Italy. My mom and I are the only remaining individuals who know how to make this, so I'm posting it hoping to share it with others. It is made the old world way, so it is not quick, but it is delicious and well worth the work and wait.

Advertisement

Ingredients

20
Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine flour, sugar, and anise seed together in a very large bowl; create a well in the center.

    Advertisement
  • Mix warm water and yeast together in a bowl. Let stand until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 10 minutes.

  • Beat warm milk, eggs, and butter together in a bowl; stir into yeast mixture. Add milk mixture to the well in the flour mixture. Knead flour-milk mixture using your hands until dough and your hands are no longer sticky. Cover dough with a clean cotton cloth and let rise, 8 hours to overnight.

  • Grease and flour 6 loaf pans.

  • Punch dough down and divide into 6 portions. Mold each portion into a round shape and place each in a prepared pan. Cover pans and let rise for 1 hour more.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Bake in the preheated oven until bread is cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cook's Note:

This recipe is traditionally made in the spring with low humidity.

Tips

My grandmother used to cover the dough with light winter coats/blankets to create extra warmth, but not heavy enough to weigh down on rising dough.

Tips

Grease and flour 6 pans. I've used everything from 9-inch round pans to standard bread pans. You need 6, so you'll need to get creative!

Nutrition Facts

448.1 calories; 11.9 g protein; 81.4 g carbohydrates; 88.6 mg cholesterol; 73 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (4)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/11/2015
Great taste! Easy to make even if the rising of the yeast dough takes a while! I brushed butter on top as soon as this bread came out of the oven. Wonderful recipe! Read More
(3)
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
04/11/2015
Great taste! Easy to make even if the rising of the yeast dough takes a while! I brushed butter on top as soon as this bread came out of the oven. Wonderful recipe! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
04/11/2015
Great taste! Easy to make even if the rising of the yeast dough takes a while! I brushed butter on top as soon as this bread came out of the oven. Wonderful recipe! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
04/08/2019
I loved this recipe! Tasted just like my grandmothers! Since I am not a lover of Anise flavouring I eliminated the Anise seeds And substituted with a half teaspoon of vanilla extract and a half teaspoon of Anise extract. Also just before baking I gave each loaf an egg wash (I mixed 2 egg yolks with 2 teaspoons of water then brushed each loaf...Makes a great shine). By the way my favourite way to eat this is toasted with a little bit of butter. Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
04/12/2020
Great recipe! My Great Aunt did everything by eye and only had a list of ingredients. This was just like hers. I made 1/2 the recipe and got 3 nice loafs. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2017
I'm going to try it but nobody is making this with 5 tablespoons of anise seed. surely not black anise which last I purchased was 70 an ounce. Read More