Prep 2 hrs
Cook 30 mins
From my Bread Maker's Bible, this looks like a really cool and extravagant sweet bread. It immediately conjured up images of festivities and sugar skulls to me so a quick Googling revealed that this bread is traditionally baked in Mexico in the weeks preceding Dia de los Muertos (11/2.) It is often decorated with bone-like pieces, so raid the Halloween clearance for bone sprinkles! Book recommends pink sugar crystals. See How to Make Lemon / Lime / Orange Zest for how to hydrate dried orange rind or make your own zest!
- 2 1⁄4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1⁄2 cup warm water
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons anise water (2TB water tsp plus 1tsp anise extract)
- 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh orange zest
- 1 1⁄2 cups confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- milk, as needed
- pink sugar crystals, for decoration
- fondant, skulls and bones for decoration
- Dissolve the yeast in the water, then add 1 cup of flour.
- Stir to make a soft spongey texture, cover with a dishcloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.
- Set aside 1/2 cup flour.
- Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar to the yeast mixture.
- In another bowl, mix the cooled butter, eggs, anise water, orange blossom water, and orange rind.
- Mix this butter mixture with the yeast-flour mixture, incorporating well.
- Pour the reserved 1/2 cup flour onto a clean board or sil-pat. Then pour the completed dough onto it. It will be very soft, so keep your hands floured and knead lightly.
- Place into a greased bowl and set in a warm place (like the oven turned off) for about 90 minutes to rise.
- Shape into a round loaf in a lightly greased and flour 9-inch pie pan.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
- Make the glaze with the icing sugar, vanilla, and just enough milk to make a glaze of frosting consistency.
- Glaze only the top of the bread when it has cooled. Sprinkle with pink sugar crystals, bone sprinkles, fondant sugar skulls, whatever tickles your fancy!