This traditional Greek Easter bread acquires its name from its shape. According
to Greek tradition, the bread is cut when the entire family is seated at the Easter
table. Each person receives one thin slice from each of the three loaves.
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 packages RapidRise or fast-acting yeast
1 teaspoon anise seed
1/2 cup water (70 to 80 degrees F)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, cut
2 whole eggs plus 1 separated egg (divided)
1 cup golden raisins
In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, anise seed
Heat water and butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees F); stir into
dry ingredients. Stir in 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk (reserve egg white) and enough remaining
flour to make soft dough.
Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7
minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
To shape and bake dough: Remove 1/2 cup dough; reserve. Knead raisins into
remaining dough; divide into 3 equal pieces. Form each into smooth ball; arrange
on greased baking sheet in the shape of a 3-leaf clover.
Divide reserved dough into 4 equal pieces; roll each into 10-inch rope.
Place 2 ropes side by side; twist together, pinching ends to seal.
Repeat with remaining ropes.
Arrange twisted ropes on 3-leaf clover in the form of a cross, tucking ends
under. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about
45 to 60 minutes.
Lightly beat reserved egg white; brush on dough. Meanwhile, Heat oven to
375 degrees F.
Bake bread for 30 to 35 minutes or until done, covering with foil after
10 minutes to prevent excess browning.
Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.
Yield: 1 loaf
Bread machine method: (For 1 1/2- or 2-pound bread machines.) Using 3 1/4
cups bread flour and 3 teaspoons rapid-rise or fast-acting yeast, add ingredients
to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Process on dough/manual
When cycle is complete, remove dough to floured surface. If necessary, knead
in additional flour to make dough easy to handle. Proceed as directed above
to shape and bake dough.
Calories: 205 per 1 of 14 slices (10% from protein, 65% from carbohydrate,
25% from fat) Protein: 5 grams; Total fat: 5.8 grams; Saturated fat: 3.1 grams;
Cholesterol: 57 mg; Sodium: 225 mg; Carbohydrate: 33.9 grams; Dietary fiber: 1.5