Just in time for seasonal dinners and holiday gift giving comes this recipe, yielding two gorgeous loaves. At her Rock Island, Illinois kitchen, Marion Elizabeth Erickson completes the golden bread with an egg wash and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
- 7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons aniseed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, aniseed and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter and water to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add 1 egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Divide each portion into thirds. Shape each into a 14-in. rope. Place three ropes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Beat remaining egg; brush over braids. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (20 slices each).
Originally published as Aniseed Braids in Light & Tasty December/January 2006, p45
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Reviewed Nov. 18, 2010
"I love this bread. It's simply delicious and I wouldn't change a thing. It's fairly simple and fun to make, and has a nice subtle sweetness which is perfect around the holidays."