Italian Anise Easter Bread

"Making this bread every Easter has been a tradition for my family. It is worth the work at least once a year. Great sliced and toasted with butter for breakfast or just plain. I have recently found that using bread flour helps the bread rise better and I have been able to half this recipe without a problem. You can use butter in place of the Crisco if you wish. Please note it should be 3 .25 oz envelopes yeast, it looks in the way the ingredients came up that its just one envelope but it should be three."
photo by Demandy photo by Demandy
photo by Demandy
photo by Demandy photo by Demandy
Ready In:
5-6 loaves




  • In mixer bowl beat eggs. Add sugar, butter, crisco, oil, milk, and vanilla.
  • Dissolve yeast in the warm water. You may want to use a thermometer to be sure the temperature is correct. Let yeast sit until it foams, as in package directions. Add to egg mixture. Add anise.
  • Add flour one cup at a time until mixture is unmanageable. Transfer into LARGE pan (Dishpan works well.) and work in remaining flour, kneading with hands.
  • Knead until you are too tired to knead any more (half hour?) and then oil top of dough ball, cover, and let rise in warm place 6 hours or overnight.
  • Grease 6 loaf pans. Separate dough into 6 parts and knead each again. Cover with towels and let rise in warm place another couple of hours.
  • Bake 1 hour at 275 degrees. Do not underbake or they will be hard as a rock. (Top should be lightly browned.).

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  1. Thank you for this recipe. My Mom used to make this but the recipe was never written down. I made a few alterations: I halved the recipe without a problem. I omitted the vanilla and used all Crisco for the fats. It made 3 loaves. Also, I let the stand mixer do the kneading for me for 15 minutes.
  2. This was the recipe I was looking for. I was given the recipe years ago by an Italian lady straight from Italy, but over the years I lost it. I loved the bread. The recipe was exactly like mine with one exception. After baking it and letting it cool for about 15 minutes. I frost the loaves with vanilla buttercream frosting, then sprinkle with the little colored cookie sprinkles. The ones that are all different colors and in a ball shape. It is really a nice Easter touch and looks so pretty. That is how my friend decorated her loaves. Anyways , I give this recipe 5 stars. It was wonderful and I followed the directions to a tee for baking.


Raleigh is my current home base, but I am from Philly and have also lived in South Florida. I love pastries and baking but I also do lots of fun shortcut dinners.
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