This bread, which is lightly flavored with aniseed and orange, makes great toast. Rising time is not included in the prep time or cook time. There's about 2 hours 40 minutes of total rising time. This is a good holiday bread.
- 2 1⁄4 cups warm water (105 F. to 115 F.)
- 1 (1/4 ounce) envelope dry yeast
- 6 1⁄2 cups about unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable shortening, plus
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted
- 2 teaspoons anise seed
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- melted butter
- Place 1/4 cup warm water in small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over; stir to dissolve. Let stand 5 minutes. Combine remaining 2 cups warm water, 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup rye flour in bowl. Add yeast mixture. Mix to blend well. Cover bowl with kitchen towel. Let sponge rise 1 hour.
- Mix sugar, corn syrup, shortening, aniseed, coriander, orange peel and salt into sponge. Gradually mix in enough all purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form slightly sticky dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 10 minutes.
- Lightly oil large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat entire surface. Cover bowl with kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Grease 2 cookie sheets. Punch dough down. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough into 3 parts. Pat each piece into 5-inch-diameter round. Place on prepared sheets. Cover and let rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled, about 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F Pierce each loaf 5 times with fork. Bake until loaves are brown and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, about 1 hour. Transfer to racks. Brush with butter and cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 1 month ahead. Wrap loaves tightly and freeze. Thaw before serving.).