Italian Anise Easter Bread

Making this bread every Easter has been a tradition for my family. We have never figured out how to make it in smaller quantities or an easier way. It is worth the work at least once a year. Great sliced and toasted with butter for breakfast or just plain.  This makes 5 loaves.

Original Recipe Card

Italian Anise Easter Bread

12 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup warm water
3 (1/4 ounce) envelopes yeast
16-20 cups flour (almost 5 lbs.)
2 tablespoons anise seeds
  1. In mixer bowl beat eggs. Add sugar, butter, crisco, oil, milk, and vanilla.
  2. Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add to egg mixture. Add anise.
  3. Add flour one cup at a time until mixture is unmanageable. Transfer into LARGE pan (Dishpan works well.) and work in remaining flour, kneading with hands.
  4. Knead until you are too tired to knead any more (half hour?) and then oil top of dough ball, cover, and let rise in warm place 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Grease 5 loaf pans. Separate dough into 5 parts and knead each again. Cover with towels and let rise in warm place another couple of hours.
  6. Bake 1 hour at 275 degrees. Do not underbake or they will be hard as a rock. (Top should be lightly browned.).

Easter BreadEaster bread