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Easter Bread (Anise Bread)

2 Fork RecipeEaster Bread (Anise Bread)
Servings:16-20

Recipes are rated from 1 to 5 forks, with 1 fork being the easiest and 5 forks the most challenging.

Easter Bread  

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This soft, moist, and slightly sweet yeast bread will fill your home with the warm aroma of bread and anise. The recipe is adapted from my mother's, replacing the eggs, butter, and milk with non-dairy ingredients. If you would like to see the original recipe, scroll all the way to the bottom for an image of my mother's hand-written recipe.

Instructional images follow the recipe.

Prep Time
Active: 30 minutes
Inactive: 60 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 envelope of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk, almond milk, or cashew milk
  • 2 egg substitute eggs (Serving Healthy Egg Substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise oil (not anise extract – see notes below the recipe)
  • 1/3 cup date sugar (I use Bob's Red Mill® Date Sugar - see notes below the recipe)
  • 1 cup oat flour (Store bought or Homemade)
  • 2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour, Plus a little more for kneading if necessary
  • 1 Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten (optional, but it provides a much better texture and crumb)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Special Equipment:
Stand Mixer with dough hook or you can knead the dough by hand

Preparation Method:

If necessary, mix your egg substitute and let it rest.

Heat milk for 30 seconds in the microwave so it is just warm to touch (it should not exceed 110 F) and pour it into a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer if you have one (and a dough hook). Sprinkle yeast into the warm milk and let sit 10 minutes to activate the yeast.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oat flour, wheat flour, and vital wheat gluten.

When the yeast is starting to grow, add the egg substitute, olive oil, and anise oil and whisk to combine. Add the date sugar and whisk to incorporate the sugar. Add ½ of the flour mixture and stir until there is no more dry flour.

If needing by hand, add all but ½ cup of the remaining flour and knead the dough while it is still in the bowl until all of the flour is combined. Dust a sturdy counter with a little of the remaining flour and place the dough on top of the dusted surface. Press the dough down and sprinkle any remaining flour on top. Knead the dough by folding in half and rolling it forward with the palms of your hands. Turn the dough ¼ turn, fold and roll again. Continue this kneading process for 2 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes. After the resting period, continue kneading the dough for an additional 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Use small sprinkles of whole wheat flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. The result should be a slightly moist but firm dough.

If using a stand mixer with a dough hook, add half of the remaining flour and mix on low speed with a dough hook until the flour is incorporated. Add the remaining flour and continue mixing for 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. After the resting period, continue kneading with the dough hook for 5 minutes. If a dough ball doesn’t form, you may need to add more flour. Add additional flour 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough pulls together and forms a ball. Once the dough pulls together in a ball, need for an additional 5 minutes.

Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray and place the bread dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

Spray a standard loaf pan with non-stick spray. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on the counter. Lightly press the dough down and fold the dough in half, turn the dough ¼ turn and fold again. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the pan. If desired, brush about 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the top of the dough to aid in browning and keeping the crust soft. Cover loosely with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 ° F - (175 ° C).

Once the dough has doubled in size, place it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the bread has browned and the center of the dough reaches 190 F on an instant read thermometer.

Remove from the oven and let sit in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Cool on a wire rack for a minimum of 30 minutes before slicing.

Notes:

Anise Oil:
*Anise oil can often be found in the essential oils section of many health food stores or health focused grocery stores, or you can order it from your pharmacy.  Several brands are available through Amazon as well:  LorAnn Natural Anise Oil, and OliveNation Pure Anise Oil

Date Sugar:
*Date Sugar can often be found in the sugar and sweeteners section of many health food stores or health focused grocery stores, and a some larger grocery store chains.  I works very well for sweetening baked goods, cereals, and smoothies; but does not melt in beverages like coffee and tea.  Several brands are available from Amazon, here are a few links: Aunt Patty's Organic Date SugarRoyal Palm 100% Pure Date SugarDate Lady Organic Date SugarNOW Foods Date SugarBob's Red Mill Date Sugar, 24 Ounce 

Oat Flour:
*Oat flour can often be found in the specialty baking section of many health food stores or health focused grocery stores, and a most larger grocery store chains.  You can also make your own oat flour from old fashioned rolled oats, see the recipe here.

Instructional Images:

Description:

Anise Oil found in the essential oils section of a health food store.
Anise Oil
Egg Substitute mixed with water after 15 minutes. 

Yeast in the warm almond milk that started to bloom.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add the olive oil, anise oil, and egg substitute.

Whisk in the date sugar.

Add the half of the flour and stir with a spoon.

Begin kneading the dough and add all but 1/2 cup of the remaining flour.

When the dough forms a ball, remove if from the mixer (if using).

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and begin kneading by hand.

Knead in the remaining half cup of flour.

To begin kneading, press the dough flat.

Fold the dough in half.

Press and roll the dough forward with the palms of your hand.
Turn the dough 1/4 of a turn and repeat the folding and rolling kneading process for about 5 minutes.
Depending on humidity, it may be necessary to add additional flour during the kneading process.

When the dough is firm and elastic, form a ball.

Spray a large bowl with a light coating of non-stick spray.
Place the dough ball in the large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Place the dough in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size (30 minutes to an hour).

Remove the dough from the bowl and fold the dough 2 or 3 times to begin forming the loaf.

Form a loaf that will fit the correct size for your loaf pan.

Spray a loaf pan with a light coating of non-stick spray.
Place the loaf in the pan and cover with plastic wrap.

Let the dough rise for 20 to 40 minutes, until doubled in size.

Bake the loaf in a 350 ° F - (175 ° C) oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  
The internal temperature of the bread should be 190 ° F - (88 ° C) when it is done.  
Remove the loaf and let cool 30 minutes on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Here is my Mother's original recipe.

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