Preparation Time15 minutes
Serving Size4 People
This recipe honors the traditional Greek Easter bread that’s cut when the entire family is seated at the Easter table. Each person receives one thin slice from each of the three loaves.
2 packages fast-acting yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon anise seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (75 F)
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 whole eggs
1 divided egg
1 cup golden raisins
In large bowl, combine the sugar, 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, anise seed, and salt. Heat the water and butter until very warm (130 F). Stir into the dry ingredients. Stir in 1 egg yolk, 2 eggs, and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Cover and let rest 11 minutes.
Remove 1/2 cup dough and reserve. Knead the raisins into the remaining dough and divide into 3 equal pieces. Form each into smooth ball and arrange on a greased baking sheet in the shape of a 3-leaf clover. Divide the reserved dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a 10-inch rope.
Place 2 ropes side by side and twist together, pinching ends to seal. Repeat with the remaining ropes. Arrange the twisted ropes on 3-leaf clover in the form of a cross, tucking the ends under carefully. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Lightly beat the reserved egg white; brush on the dough. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the bread for 35 minutes or until done, covering with foil after 10 minutes to prevent any excess browning. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.