11 In Food/ Italy/ Recipes

What is Buccellato di Lucca? Ancient Bread Recipe

Special in Lucca, Buccellato Bread, recipe included - ouritalianjourney.com

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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 finely and has a softer crust. It’s good, just not our favorite. You can find them here.

Buccellato Bread sold in Piazza San Michelle, Lucca - ouritalianjourney.com
our favorite store that sells Buccellato

Ancient Bread Recipe – Buccellato di Lucca?

Course: BreadCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium
Prep time




Cooking time



Buccellato bread is an ancient bread and favorite of the Romans when visiting Lucca in Tuscany.


  • 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 powder and yeast
  • Add milk and butter and mix to make a soft dough
  • Add raisins and knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes until elastic and smooth
  • Cover and set aside until double in volume. This will depend on the weather but could be at least an hour
  • Punch it down and roll it into a log, or you can make it into a circle shape
  • For a round shape – grease a baking sheet and place the rolled log on it and bring the sides together to form a ring. Pinch them together. Place a small bowl (like a pyrex dessert bowl) in the center and let the bread rise – covered – for about 15 minutes.
  • For a log shape – grease a baking sheet and place the loaf in the center. Let bread rise – covered – for about 15 minutes.
  • While the Buccellato bread is in the final proving, preheat the oven to 200° C
  • Optional: You can choose to glaze the bread or not. I love the dark color it provides so I usually do it. Can use a combination of a beaten egg with a little milk or 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, and cool the bread on a wire rack before slicing
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Recipe for Buccellato Bread - an ancient bread in Lucca - ouritalianjourney.com

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  • Reply
    Kathryn Occhipinti
    January 13, 2022 at 9:07 am

    Very interesting article! So this bread is what kept the Romans winning their battles! I knew some Tuscan bread is made without salt (and I believe still is today) but had not heard of this sweet bread before.

    • Reply
      January 16, 2022 at 9:12 am

      Such a cute comment, Kathryn!! Thanks.

  • Reply
    Angelo Serra
    January 17, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you for the recipe! My wife and I had buccellato for the first time on the recommendation of our hosts. We purchased ours from Pasticceria da Sara and it was delicious. Our second trip, was a purchase from Taddeucci’s and it was delicious as well.

    Your recipe is slightly different than the one I have (a bit more salt, and made in a ring not a loaf) so I will need to give it a try. Thank you for posting – hoping to be back in Lucca later this year.

    • Reply
      January 19, 2022 at 11:01 am

      Thank you Angelo for the comment! It is a unique flavor – that’s for sure! Send a photo if you make it!!

      • Reply
        Joanne Humphrey
        March 19, 2022 at 8:04 pm

        My Grandmother was from Lucca and always made buccellato. We always called it Easter bread. Always made in a ring and no rasins. I still make her recipe. It was never written down like so many other wonderful that came from her kitchen. Buccellato was the one thing I helped with. We still have it at Easter

        • Reply
          March 21, 2022 at 7:21 am

          How amazing! Love hearing family stories like this. Thank you for commenting and sharing!

        • Reply
          Emma Carter
          March 30, 2022 at 12:53 am

          Hi Joanne! Does your Grandmothers recipe mention anything about soaking the fruit in an anise liquor? We had buccellato in Lucca but haven’t managed to get the same aniseed taste. My fellow traveller recalled being told the fruit was soaked in anise liquor.

          • imodica
            March 30, 2022 at 7:20 am

            I hope Emma you wanted the comment on our blog post and not responding to a comment on social media. Let us know and we can remove your comment here. I must have missed Joanne’s comment about her Grandmother!

  • Reply
    Emma Carter
    April 2, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    Hi. Just was wanting to know if anyone knew about soaking the fruit in anise liquor before making the bread. No need to remove comment. Someone might see and know the answer. 😉

  • Reply
    January 9, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    Delicious! My husband and I visited Lucca in October and we saw this bread in the Pasticceria bakery window. I took a photo to bring home in hopes of making it. It was a fun thing to do, to enjoy the bread and to remember our wonderful time there.

    • Reply
      January 15, 2023 at 8:52 am

      Thanks for the wonderful comment! It is indeed delicious and a treat. There are many places that sell it and everyone has their favorites!

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