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Growing up in a Greek family, I remember the bread my family purchased at a Greek bakery each Easter. I found this recipe in a 1965 Better Homes & Garden Bread Cook Book and it is one of my favorites. The dough can be easily made in a bread machine, then shaped before baking. I love the aroma of the anise as the bread bakes. The oils of cinnamon & anise can be found at baking supply shops.
- Soften yeast in warm water. Pour scalded milk over sugar, butter and salt; stir til butter melts. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in flavorings. Add 1 cup of the flour; mix well. Stir in 1 egg and softened yeast; beat well. Add remaining flour ( or a little more or less to make a soft dough.) Turn out on lightly floured surface. Knead til smooth and elastic ( 8 - 10 minutes). Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until almost double (about 1 1/4 hours).
- Punch down. Let rise again until almost double (1 hours). Turn out on to lightly floured surface and divide dough into thirds; form in balls. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll each under hands to form strands 16 inches long, tapering ends. Braid loosely without stretching, beginning in the middle, working towards either end. Pinch ends together. Cover; let rise until almost double ( 40 minutes). Combine beaten egg and water; brush over braid; sprinkle with sesame seed.
- Bake at 375* for 25 minutes.