• 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 125m warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon aniseed, crushed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 dessertspoon grated orange rind
  • 750g flour
  • (optional)1 hard boiled egg, dyed red

For the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon of butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast with warm water, add the rest of the ingredients, except the flour and the hard boiled egg, and stir well.  Add the flour and mix well. When the mixture is stiff, turn out on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and grease a bowl and place the dough turning it so that all its surface is oiled; cover with cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.

Place the dough on a floured surface, and punch it down.  Knead briefly and divide it in three equal parts.  Roll each dough into a 60cm long rope.  Braid the ropes together and pinch the ends securely.

Place the egg in the centre of the braided bread, cover with a damp kitchen cloth and return to a warm place for about an hour.

Preheat the oven 180C (340F/Gas Mark4) and bake the bread for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter; sprinkle sesame seeds on top.