The women in our family feel so blessed that my mom taught us how to make this Pane Dolce before she passed away. We do our best to carry on her loving tradition. —Kathleen Schweihs, Lockport, Illinois
Recommended: 33 Non-Scary Bread Recipes Anyone Can Bake
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter or margarine, cubed
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 4 eggs
- 6 teaspoons anise extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped red and green candied cherries
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 4 teaspoons milk
- In a saucepan, combine the first four ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from the heat; cool to 110° to 115°.
- In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the cooled butter mixture, eggs, extracts, nuts and cherries; mix well. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down; divide into thirds. Shape each portion into an oval loaf; place in three greased and floured 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until golden brown. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly. Remove from pan to wire racks to cool.
- Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over cooled loaves. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Italian Sweet Bread in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2003, p54