That is a little corny really isn’t it?
Even corny is sort of appropriate for bread things as you do use cornmeal and cornflour in bread making at times. I shall be quiet now:)
I am going to start with my favourite, well ok, one of my favourites as it is hard to say just one, breads. I am very partial to sweet breads and this bread is FRESH, FRESH, FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN!! It is also from my favourite place (apart from NZ), Lucca, Italy. I have been looking for a typical Lucchese savoury bread but have not found anything as yet, so in the meantime we will be having…………………
BIG DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!
Now this yeasty delight is an adaptation on the recipe link below:
This is my recipe adapted from this and two other old recipes I had.
- 4 cups of Organic Bread Flour or a strong bread flour
- 1 cup of castor sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tsbp aniseed, i like them not ground.
- 150g butter
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grappa or as i used Vin Santo or a strong liqueur that compliments the aniseed.
- pinch of salt
- little bit of flour for dusting when kneading.
- 20g of dry active yeast
- Soak raisins in the Grappa/ liqueur for about an hour-sometimes, I will even do it the night before.Depends when I feel like baking .
- Warm milk in small bowl, mix in sugar and add in yeast, beat slight;y and leave in warm place (hot water cupboard) until all creamy and frothy.
- In large mixing bowl, place flour, aniseed, salt and mix through. Rub butter into the flour mix.
- Drain raisins and drain off excess fluid. Sometimes I will use a wee bit less milk and add in the leftover liquor. Gives it a nice kick!! Add Raisins to flour mix.
- Beat the 2 eggs and add into the prepared yeast mixture.
- Add yeasty/ eggy mixture to the dry ingredients and mix into a soft dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured board/ area and knead until soft and silky for 6-10 minutes dependant on your strength and experience.
- CHEAT TIP: If i am feeling lazy, I will do the kneading bit in my bread maker. Just make sure it’s all mixed well though :)
- Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover and leave in warm place for 2-3 hours.Until doubled in size.
- When doubled in size, turn out again on a lightly floured area nd knock back slightly and shape into a ring or a long oval or you can even braid it (but that’s not the traditional shape).
- Place on light dusted baking tray with baking paper on it.
- Cover and place in warm place for 60-90 mins.
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius on fan bake about 30 mins before bread is ready.
- Brush with egg glaze
- Bake for 35 mins or until cooked. Sorry ,that is not much help but i just know by touch and look when its ready now days.
- Cool on wire tray and then ENJOY!!
This is a slightly buttery texture, it is a richer texture than a plain fruit bread but not obviously like Brioche or eggy like Challah but it is rich and very delicious with a hint of Aniseed. Gorgeous eaten fresh or wait a day or so when the favour has developed more and toast it. It is still a nice moist bread after 1-2 days. After day 3 , i would use it for a Zuccotto type desert (use buccellato instead of sponge) or toast or even a nice bread pudding!! Mmmmm the possibilities are endless. It’s not a hard bread to make and well worth that little bit of time. This bread dates back to about 1450 and was originally for the Nobility. It is now eaten everyday( probably by tourists) especially at the Exaltation of the Holy cross in Lucca. Taddeucci in Lucca’s San Michele Piazza makes a beautiful Buccellato.
Smaller than my big beasty here but just as tasty……mmmm
Wait until i do the Treccia, this is even better (if possible) than the Buccellato.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy :)