05 February 2006

Sweet Anise Raisin Bread on Sunday~

This morning we are determined to have a better day than yesterday, which was the day of missed moments. We woke up to a breakfast of espresso and milk, butter and marmalade on the sweet bread I had made and set aside for this morning. We pretty much finished off 1/2 a kilo! While A watches his soccer team (inter) on tv, I have decided against better judgment, to blog instead of studying for my test...

This is a picture of the pastry shop in Lucca which first produced (in large quantities) the bread we ate this morning

Here is the recipe:

sponge: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup warm water, 1 1/2 envelopes active dry yeast (or 1/2 oz compressed yeast)

dough: 2 1/2 cups flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup warm water, 1/2 tsp salt, 2/3 cup raisins, 1 tbsp freshest anise seeds

1) For the sponge: dissolve the yeast in the warm (about 105 degree) water with a whisk, place the flour in a small bowl and stir the yeast mixture in, cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 1/2 hour

2) For the dough: place all ingredients save the raisins and anise in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, add the sponge and beat on low speed for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic (start with paddle, switch to the dough hook), add the raisins and anise and mix in until even, cover the bowl and ferment until doubled (3-4 hours)

3) Deflate the dough on a floured surface, kneading briefly. Form the dough into either a long cylinder (about 24 inches) and connect the ends to form a ring, or into two small rectangular loaves. Place on a paper lined baking sheet and proof until doubled (2-3 hours) covered with a tea towel

4) To bake: at 375 degrees, until a tester emerges clean (about 45 min for the ring, 30 min for loaves). Cool on rack, cover well with plastic wrap. Freezes well. [photo to follow]


Anonymous Barbara said...

Thanks for dropping by my site Kristina. You have created a wonderful blog. I'll be visiting often. A cousin of mine is off to Italy in two weeks and starting from Sicily is planning on travelling the length of Italy as the mood takes him.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Thanks Barbara! I'm sure your cousin will have a wonderful trip; Italy is supposed to be lovely in the spring time...

11:00 PM  
Blogger Julie Fordyce said...

This looks very much like a bread my mother and grandmother made; our Italian family is from a town outside of Lucca--Camporgiano. We call it "cricenta", but I don't know if that's correct or has been Americanized over the decades. Can you tell me? Thanks.

5:59 PM  

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