RECIPE: Aniseed Bread

Like most ethnicities and cultures, when the Portuguese came to Trinidad, they brought traditions and recipes that were passed down from generation to generation. As is with many recipes, tried and true Portuguese recipes vary from family to family but, the heart and soul of it remain the same. For this week’s issue, we have two traditional Portuguese recipes that are commonly made around Christmas time.
Aniseed Bread
Aniseed bread is commonly served with garlic pork, a tradition from the island of Madeira. The licorice-like flavour of the aniseed perfectly complements the friend, savoury garlic pork. Use the soft, pillowy bread to soak up the very well-seasoned, garlic pork juices.
1-¼ ounce package active dry yeast
2 ¼ cups warm water (110°F to 115°F)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 to 6 teaspoons aniseed*
6 ¼ to 6 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
*Aniseed has a strong, bitter flavour; add depending on your preference
1 In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt, oil, aniseed and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Mix in remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
2 Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic-like, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, flipping the dough over once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
3 Punch dough down to release air. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf.
4 Place each dough into two greased 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
5 Bake at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden-brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
6 Serve with garlic pork or butter and enjoy!
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