I speak with my mum on the phone every Saturday and it's usual for us to ask what the other is cooking and sometimes to exchange recipes over the phone or in the post. This is one of those recipes which arrived in the post together with a few others for other types of bread, sweet and savoury.
This sweet bread is made with fresh yeast which I've been using a lot lately in my breadmaking with great results. In April last year I posted another recipe for a sweet bread with star anise and cinnamon, of the 2 the recipe I'm sharing with you today is by far the best in my opinion. They're both delicious in terms of flavour but I like the texture of this one best.
Sweet anise bread
10g fresh yeast
325g + 50g strong white flour
90g caster sugar
1 tablespoon anise (ground or seeds, I used seeds)
40g butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk and add 50g of strong white flour. Mix until well combined and prove in a warm place until it doubles in volume.
Mix the 325g strong white flour with a pinch of salt, the sugar and anise. Make a well in the middle and add the butter, the eggs and the milk and yeast mixture and mix until well combined. You can do this in a stand mixer with the dough hook.
Tip the dough on to a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes. You may need to add a little more flour as you knead if the dough is too sticky.
Shape into a ball and prove in a warm place until it doubles in volume again.
Knock back and knead for a few seconds. Shape the dough and place in a tin lined with baking paper. I used a standard size loaf tin and 6 mini loaf tins.
Prove for a last time in a warm place until doubled in volume and then bake in a preheated oven to 180 ºC for 20-30 minutes ou until golden brown.
This sweet bread is delicious on its own or spread with butter. It also goes very well with savoury fillings such as ham, cheese, parma ham or cooked bacon.