Oh, the joy of baking one's own bread; the adventure, the accomplishment, the excitement - tasting what you have created with your own hands! This Old World bread recipe produces two loaves that can be savored and enjoyed with any meal.
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Proof the yeast in a small amount of water with the sugar (follow directions on package).
Combine the flour with the salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour with enough tepid water to form a stiff dough (up to 1 1/2 c.).
Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Continue to knead, incorporating the raisins and anise seeds.
Divide the dough into equal halves and shape into balls. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Oil the exterior of the dough. Flatten the dough into discs approximately 1-in. thick and 6-in. in diameter. Sprinkle a nonstick cookie sheet with flour. Place the loaves on the cookie sheet and cover with a lightly moist towel. The dough should be left to rise for approximately 2 hours.
Test the dough by poking it with a finger so it leaves a deep hole. Poke each loaf with a fork several times to release gas.
Place the loaves in the oven and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F/160°C and bake an additional 30 - 40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Recipe was created for our Calphalon Classic Nonstick Bakeware Cookie Sheet.
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