Heat the butter and milk together in a medium saucepan until the butter melts. Remove from heat and add warm water. The mixture should be around 45 degrees C.
In a large bowl, combine 1/3 of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 4 tablespoons sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture. Add the eggs and orange zest then beat until well combined. Stir in the remaining flour, a little at a time, until the dough is soft.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl covered with cling film, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours.
Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking tray, loosely cover with cling film then let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated 180 degrees C for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with sugar.
I baked a practice loaf but didn't need to as it turned out excellent. Good texture and flavour. I also used my bread machine on the dough cycle. Couldn't be easier, which is a good thing because my son is baking the next loaf. - 18 Jul 2008
Nov. 2, "Day of the Dead," was also my Dad's birthday. I made a batch of Pan de Muertos and my sister and I took it out to the cemetery, where we sat beside my Dad's grave and shared the bread and special memories of him while we watched the sun set. I split the recipe into two small rounds -- one for us to share, and one to leave at the gravesite for the birds and squirrels. Sentimentality aside, this bread was surprisingly good; I was prepared to not care for it much because I'm not fond of anise, but we both really liked it. Thanks for a helping me start a new family tradition! - 18 Jul 2008
Although I am not a big fan of anise in bread, this was pretty good. Try it! - 18 Jul 2008