250ml warm milk
100g caster sugar
1 tbs dried yeast
790g plain flour
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
3 eggs for dough
3 eggs which have been boiled and coloured
Melted butter for brushing
1 egg lightly beaten, separate
Prepare a 22 cm round baking tin by greasing well either with the melted butter or if you prefer you can use oil. In a small bowl, place about 50- 70 ml of the lukewarm milk with a tablespoon of sugar and stir, sprinkle the yeast in , cover and leave in a warm, draught-free place for 5-10 minutes until it forms a foam over the top. In a seperate bowl lightly beat the 3 eggs together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl place the flour, salt and fennel seeds. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast, butter, the rest of the milk and the sugar. Stir together. Add the beaten eggs. Mix together. If using an electric mixer use the dough hook to knead the dough until smooth and elastic, if baking by hand turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead, for about 10-15 minutes ubtil it is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and set aside in a warm, draught-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour to 1½ hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C – Gas mark 6.
Reserving a small piece of the dough, place the dough into the greased tin, press the remaining 3 whole boiled and coloured eggs into the top of the dough. Make 6 string-like pieces from the reserved dough and place two across each egg to form a cross on each. Cover and leave again to rise in a warm place for about another 20-2 minutes. brush lightly with beaten egg and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out onto a cooling rack.
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