To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients together, and mix and knead them--by hand, mixer, or bread machine--to make a smooth, soft dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and allow it to rise for 90 minutes; it may not double in
Break off a piece of dough about the size of a large baseball (7 1/2 ounces or so, if you have a scale). Divide this smaller piece into three pieces; two of them should be large, and one small (about half the size of one of the larger pieces). Place these
Shape the large piece of dough remaining into a smooth ball. Flatten it to a 6 x 3/4-inch tall round. Place the shaped loaf on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, or into a lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan. Cover the loaf, and allow it
Just before the loaf is fully risen, remove the smaller pieces from the fridge. Shape the smallest into a round ball. Roll the other two into 10-inch ropes.
To make the topping: Mix together the anise seed, cinnamon and sugar.
To shape and bake the loaf: Brush the top of the bread with an egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water, or spray it with Quick Shine. Sprinkle with the topping mixture.
Drape the two ropes across the loaf at right angles, so they form a cross over the bread. Use your fingers to flatten the ropes in places, and at the ends, to give them a ?gnarled? appearance. Take the ball, flatten it slightly, and set it in the very cen
Bake the bread in a preheated 350Â°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The interior of the finished loaf will register 190Â°F on an instant-read thermometer when it?s done. Remove t