[Sca-cooks] Anise and Bread - Pliny Re: The benefits of Anise

Volker Bach carlton_bach at yahoo.de
Thu Feb 21 01:09:15 PST 2008

I found another reference for a bread recipe with
anise in the bread...
only have an english translation:

Translation: by Andrew Dalby
White Bread Bread made from wheat is the best and most
nutritious of
foods. Particularly if white, with a moderate use of
yeast and salt,
dough kneaded midway between dryness and rawness, and
with a little
fennel seed and mastic, it is very fine indeed. One
with a hot
should include sesame in the dough. If wishing to add
more moistness to
bread, knead in some almond oil. 
-Dalby, Andrew, Flavours of Byzantium, Great Britain:
Prospect Books,

I have yet to find a transliteration of the original
recipe. I tried
the first time with caraway, because I didn't have
anise or fennel in
cabinet and I just wanted to give a try. I found the
caraway too strong
flavor against the use of the white flour. I had not
had come across a
recipe before for mastic either, and after my first
time trying this
looked for a source. Now I have some mastic, is it
supposed to be
 ground to
a powder or possibly dissolved in something? I've
never used this
ingredient before. But, I do look forward to playing
with this recipe

I've worked with this and found that I liked it best
with a very gentle hand on the caraway and the
fennelseed dominant. You can put in whole fennelseeds
or grind them - I like the rustic appeal of whole
seends, but I suspect the Byzantines preferred them

Mastic can be had in lumps much like gum arabic or
powdered. Art supply shops alsao sometimes sell it in
little granules. I prefer to get mine in lumps because
I can thus be reasonably sure it hasn't been
adulterated, but pre-ground is more practical for
cooking (I use mine as chewing gum sometimes, too). 

Be prepared to pay through your nose. Mastic has
gotten quite pricy - I think it's the Mediterranean
cooking craze and a fad for traditional materials in
art (I've only once used mastic in my art and wasn't


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