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Buccellato di Lucca is from the Tuscan region and particularly – the city of Lucca. The bread is made with raisins, and it used to be the favorite of the Roman army.
Shaped in the form of a ring or a loaf, this ancient bread is different than other bread. The distinctive anise flavor is prevalent and adds a good flavor to the bread. This bread is just slightly sweet, filled with raisins and while soft inside, and has a crisp crust.
Buccellato bread is particularly made for the Holy Cross Day in September and enjoyed after the mass. Enjoy it with a glass of Vin Santo or toast leftovers for breakfast.
We always take visitors to our favorite bakery, pasticceria, in Piazza San Michelle, Fabbrica Taddeucci to try a loaf. Other places in Lucca make the bread – just slightly different. One particular place chops the raisins very fine and has a softer crust. It’s good, just not our favorite. You can find them here.
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed anise seeds or fennel powder
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup Golden and regular raisins
- In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, fennel powderand yeast
- Add milk and butter and mix to make a soft dough
- Add raisins and knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes untilelastic and smooth
- Cover and set aside until double in volume. This will dependon the weather but could be at least an hour
- Punch it down and roll it into a log, if making it into acircle shape
- For a round shape – grease a baking sheet and place therolled log on it and bring the sides together to form a ring. Pinch themtogether. Place a small bowl (like a pirex dessert bowl) in the center and letthe bread rise – covered – for about 15 minutes.For a log shape – grease a baking sheet and place the loafin the center. Let bread rise – covered – for about 15 minutes.
- While the Buccellato bread is in the final proving, preheat oven to 200° C
- Optional: You can choose to glaze the bread or not. I love the darkcolor it provides so I usually do it. Can use a combination of a beaten egg with a little milk or a sugar and water. I prefer the egg with a little milk.
- Using a sharp knife, score the bread on top for either shape
- Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until the top is golden.
- Remove from oven, cool the bread on wire rack before slicing