This recipe is based on one my great-grandmother made regularly and which my siblings adore. While it seems to be a sort of Portuguese sweet bread has always been called bull in my family. It is a slightly sweet, anise flavored bread. It is assembled and kneaded the night before, left to rise overnight and then formed into small round loaves.
Servings: 5 8″ round loaves
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 12 hours
- 10 cups flour plus a bit more for kneading
- 2 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons anise seed
- 2 pkgs. yeast (about 4 1/2 tsp.)
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- Add the butter to the milk in a saucepan. Place over low heat until the butter melts. Do not let the milk boil. Allow the mixture to drop below 100°F before continuing.)
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, anise seeds and yeast in a large bowl; set aside.
- Scramble the eggs. Continue mixing the eggs and slowly add a ladle of lukewarm butter/milk mixture. Repeat two more times to temper the eggs. Add the eggs to the remaining butter/milk mixture; stir to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a sturdy spoon until just combined into a dough. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Knead the dough until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place overnight.
- Divide into 5 equal portions. Round each portion into loves and place in a greased 8″ cake pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. When bread has completed doubled in size bake for 40 minutes, rotating pans half way through cooking.
- Remove from pans and allow to cool fully before cutting (if you can resist temptation).
This bread also makes phenomenal toast.