Another beautiful version of a festive bread. Beautifully soft on the inside with a crispy crust on the outside. For Christmas we place a gold coin inside the bread. On Christmas day who finds the coin is deemed to have good luck for the rest of the year. For Easter a red egg is placed in the centre of the bread so as to symbolise the blood shed by Jesus Christ.
1 1/2 Sachets of yeast
2 teaspoons of caster sugar
1 1/2 cups of warm milk
5 cups of flour
150g butter melted
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 teaspoons of ground aniseed
1 teaspoon of salt
1 egg yolk extra
Black poppy seeds
Combine only 1 cup of flour, yeast and sugar. Add the warm milk and knead until you get a small ball of dough. The dough should be nice and smooth. Leave to stand for about 30 minutes to prove in size. When doubled in size make a well in the dough with your hands and add the melted butter, eggs and the remaining 4 cups of flour. Add aniseed and salt. Place on a floured surface and knead really well until smooth again. Return to the large bowl and leave to stand for another hour it should double in size again.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough into three equal pieces and roll out with a rolling pin to about 1cm thickness. Spread each piece with butter or margarine and then roll lengthwise. Once rolled, cut into 4-5 rounds. Start assembling bread into the flour shape as shown above. Mix an egg yolk with a bit of milk and brush on top. Sprinkle with black poppy seeds.
Bake on 250C for about 30 minutes or until golden, cover on top with foil and return to bake on 200C for another 30-35 minutes. To check if ready, tap the bread form the bottom, if it sounds like it is hollow it is ready. Otherwise return to the oven for a little bit longer.
The black poppy seeds add an amazing aroma to the bread.
Happy Baking :)
Another way of assembling the bread is to turn the cut roles on their side as oppose to flat down. Doing this will achieve the above look.