Makes 4 Small Loaves of Easter Bread
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (100 degrees F.)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp aniseeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp anise extract
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the surface, to form a smooth and elastic dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Lightly oil the surface of the dough, and cover the bowl with a damp towel. Place in the oven with the light on. The dough needs to rise until doubled in size, which will take between 6-12 hours. This is a slow rising dough and may be left overnight.
When doubled punch dough down, and turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in four pieces. Shape into four small oval loaves. If desired, each piece can be cut into three strips and braided to give it a traditional Easter bread appearance.
Place loaves on silicon mat, or parchment lined baking sheets. Cover very loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise for 2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool on wire racks.
Once cooled completely the loaves can served as is, or frosted with a simple lemon icing.