|Active dry yeast||1⁄2 Ounce (2 Packages, 1/4 Ounce Each)|
|Warm water||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (About 110 Degree F)|
|Warm milk||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (About 110 Degree F)|
|Butter/Margarine||1 Cup (16 tbs), melted and cooled|
|Eggs||4 , slightly beaten|
|Sugar||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|Crushed anise seed||2 Teaspoon|
|All purpose flour||7 1⁄2 Cup (120 tbs), unsifted|
|Candied cherries/Walnut halves||9|
|Egg white||1 , beaten with 1 tablespoon water|
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
Blend in milk, butter, eggs, sugar, anise seed, and salt.
Gradually beat in about 7 cups of the flour to make a stiff dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured board; knead until smooth and satiny (10 to 20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Turn dough over in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours).
Punch dough down; pinch off 2 balls of dough, each about 3 inches in diameter; set aside.
Shape remaining dough into a smooth ball.
Place on a greased baking sheet and flatten into a 10-inch round.
Gently roll each of the 3-inch balls between your hands to make a 15-inch-long rope.
With a razor blade or a sharp floured knife, cut a 5-inch-long slash into each end of the 2 ropes.
Cross ropes on center of loaf; do not press down.
Curl slashed sections away from center of each rope; then place a candied cherry or walnut half in each curl and one in center of cross.
Brush loaf with beaten egg white.
Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (about 1 hour).
Bake in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes or until loaf is richly browned and sounds hollow when tapped.