This distinctive Anise Bread is different than any savory bread you’ve ever had. A crisp, brown crust flecked with sesame seeds surrounds a moist interior spiced with anise seeds. And no licorice flavor here; I don’t like black licorice and I love this bread!
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
- 1 (.25-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 large egg, beaten, divided
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- Sesame seeds, for sprinkling on top
- In a medium saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts. Stir in sugar and salt. Remove from heat and let cool to no higher than 110 degrees.
- Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm (100 to 110 degrees) water. Set aside.
- Put cooled milk mixture in a large mixing bowl and using whisk attachment on an electric mixer, blend in 1/2 cup flour. Blend in 1/2 beaten egg, anise seed and then the yeast.
- Using a dough hook and keeping machine on speed 2, add just enough flour to blend in, 1/2 cup at a time, to form dough. Beat for 2 additional minutes or until dough clings to the hook and cleans sides of the bowl. Knead an additional 2 minutes on speed 2 or until the dough is smooth and elastic (dough will be sticky).
- Remove dough from bowl and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times by hand to confirm texture is correct (it should feel like your earlobe or a baby’s bottom).
- Transfer dough to a large greased bowl, turning once to coat surface. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees) about 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans.
- Punch down dough and knead briefly to push out additional air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into an oblong loaf that will fill the prepared pans; put in pans. Brush tops with remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped on top. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.