Raisin Anise BreadClick to Play

Raisin Anise Bread

Buccellato di Lucca

Mary Ann Esposito

Makes 1 Large Ring

Buccellato Taddeucci in Lucca sells the sweet bread that was said to be a favorite of the ancient Roman army and in fact are sometimes made as large as a Roman cart wheel! Bucellato is the standard confirmation gift to children from their grandparents. If you go, get there early to buy one so you won't be disappointed.


1 package active dried yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 F)
1 cup warm milk (110 F)
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
6 to 6 1/4 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon anise seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon fine salt


Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, 2 eggs, sugar, and butter. Stir in two cups of the flour, raisins, anise seeds, and salt. Add the remaining flour, a little at a time, until a soft ball of dough is created. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and punch it down with your fists. Knead the dough for a few minutes, then roll it out into a 32-inch rope, and bring the ends together to form a ring shape. Place the ring on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Cover with a clean towel and allow it to rise until almost doubled.

Brush the dough with the remaining egg and bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the buccellato to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Option: To keep the center of the ring open during baking, place a well buttered custard-type dish in the center of the ring. After the bread is baked and cooled, carefully remove the dish.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA IN TUSCANY by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2003.

item recipe is featured in Episode 1304 of Season 13.

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  1. Julie Fordyce's avatar

    Julie Fordyce

    | Permalink
    My mother and grandmother (as well as my sisters and I) made a bread we called "cricenta", which is pretty much just like this. Our family is from Lucca. Seeing this has made me decide to bake some today!
  2. b. woods's avatar

    b. woods

    | Permalink
    Great recipe! Fell in love with it when I first tasted it in Lucca two years ago- I modified it slightly to include 1.25 cups of raisins soaked in grappa overnight and .75 cup of sugar. It is very popular even with people who do not like anise and "their" favorite way to have it is to toast it slightly for breakfast. I like it cold with iced coffee on a summer day after it has been sitting in an airtight container in the fridge for a few hours.
  3. linda guzzetta's avatar

    linda guzzetta

    | Permalink
    where can I purchase the baking stone with sides shown in the video from episode 1304 for raisin anise bread ? thank you
  4. Carla's avatar


    | Permalink
    My nonna used to make us buccellato all the time. As a treat we were allowed to dip it in wine and ginger ale.
    Our family is from viareggio which is quite near the city of Lucca.
    I'm so excited to have this recipe to surprise my dad and family with over the holidays. Thank you!

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