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Italian Easter Bread

2 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
grated rind and juice of 1 large orange and 1 lemon
4 eggs
3/8 cup oil
2 tsp spirit of anise (or crushed anise seeds)
1 1/2 cup raisins or mixed fruit
6 - 8 cups flour

In large bowl sprinkle yeast into warm water; add sugar and let
stand for about 8 -10 minutes or until frothy and yeast is dissolved.
Measure combined lemon and orange juice. Add milk to make 1 cup.
Combine with sugar and salt in saucepan. Scald; let cool until
lukewarm. Add to yeast mixture. Mix together. Stir in 3 cups of
flour. Add eggs. Mix well. Stir in anise, then oil, rated orange
and lemon rinds and raisins. Mix well. Stir in enough flour to
make a soft, non-sticky dough. (3-5 cups) Turn out on a lightly
floured board and KNEAD until smooth and satiny - about 10 minutes.
Place in greased bowl; turn dough over to grease top. Cover and
let rise in a warm place for approx. 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and
knead lightly a few times. Divide into 3. Shape each into loaves.
Place in 3 greased bread pans. Cover and let rise until double in
size - about 1 hour. Brush with beaten mixed with 1 tsp. sugar.
Bake at 350F degree for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 300F
degree and continue baking for about 15 minutes or until browned
and well done.


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