Italian Baked Specialties

Italian Easter Bread
(Recipe Below!)

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Aunty Lena's Boiled Biscuits.
Submitted by: Janet Ricci

5 lbs flower
3 Tbs fennel seeds
2 Tbs salt

Mix this all together well. Then add:
1 Cup warm water with 2 packets of rapid rise yeast dissolved.
3 more cups warm water
3 cups corn oil

Mix and kneed all well together forming a mice dense dough. "Bless" with 3 crosses (very important)
Cover with plastic wrap and towels.
Let rise in warm spot as you would any yeast dough. (I warm my oven to 200*, then turn off; add a pan of hot water to the bottom rack; and place the covered dough on the top rack.)
Let rise until doubled, approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down. Grab small handfuls of dough and roll into a rope. Make ring out of the rope and set aside. While doing this, have a large pot of water ready to an almost boil stage.


3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Oil for deep frying
Confectioners' sugar
Mix flour, baking powder and salt; make a well. Combine eggs, lemon juice and oil; pour into well and knead dough until smooth. Let dough rest under a metal bowl for 10 minutes. Cut into six pieces. Roll out each and cut into 2-inch by 8-inch strips. Make a slit in center of each strip and feed one end through to form a bowtie. Fry to golden color. Drain; then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

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Drop biscuits into the pot of water. After a few seconds, the biscuit will rise to to top of the water. Carefully remove and place on linen towels to drain and dry. (approx 20 min)

Place biscuits on racks over cookie sheets (or on cookie sheets. Bake at 400* - 425* for 20 min - 30 min. Ovens vary, so bake a couple first on the first batch. Half way through the baking, rotate the trays/racks from 2nd to 3rd. (I say racks, as Aunty Lena use to bake these biscuits right on the oven racks.  With the newer ovens, we find that the grids are too far spaced.  You can try using a cooling rack set into a cookie sheet or directly on the oven rack.) Biscuits should come out nice and crisp and great for dunking. If you prefer a softer biscuit, roll the rope a bit thicker.

This is an all day project, so allow at least 5 - 6 hours from start to finish. Well worth your time and effort. Recipe may also be cut in half.

Betcha can't eat just one!"

Anise Biscotti

Makes 3 1/2 Dozen

2/3 Cup Blanched Almonds
1 Tablespoon Anise Seeds
1 Tablespoon Anise or Almond Flavoring
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
Granulated Sugar For Topping

Toast the almonds by baking in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes or until golden. Do not allow to brown! Cool, and coarsely chop. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F. 

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Add the ground anise seeds and flavoring of choice to the butter mixture and mix until completely blended. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, to the butter mixture and mix together just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Divide the dough into two parts and form logs about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Place each log on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool 10 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, slice into 1/2 inch thick wagers. Place these back on the baking sheet side by side, and return to the hot oven for 10 more minutes. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Buon Appetito!

Toasted Egg Slices

In mixing bowl, combine: 

2 eggs, beaten 
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn oil
1/2 teaspoon anise flavoring

In another bowl, mix:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

Add the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients, knead and shape into 3" x 9" loaves. Place 
on greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. 
Cool, then cut into approximately 3/4" slices, return to cookie sheet and brown on each 
side. Cool five to ten minutes, then stack in tins until ready to serve. 

Sugarless Italian Biscuits

4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fennel seed

Mix above ingredients and form a well. In another bowl, combine: 
3 eggs, beaten (save about half an egg to brush tops of biscuits) 
1/2 cup corn oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture. Knead until smooth. Shape into round rings (like 
doughnuts), brush tops with reserved egg and bake on greased cookie sheets at 375F for 25 
minutes. Yields about four dozen. 





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Biscotti di Vino (Wine Biscuit)

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp. coarse grind pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a food processor or mixer, blend flour, sugar, black pepper and baking powder. As mixer is running, add oil and wine slowly. Blend until the mixture forms a dough. Remove the dough and place on a board. Divide the dough into 30 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3" long rope and then press ends together to form a ring. Arrange rings 1 1/2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in batches in the middle of the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes.

Pepper Biscuits

2 packages dry yeast
2 cups warm water
6 cups flour
4 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. pepper, coarse grind
1 cup olive oil
1 egg, beaten

Combine yeast, sugar and warm water. Set aside to bubble up and foam. Place flour, fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a large pot. When yeast has foamed, mix gently with olive oil and pour into flour, mixing and turning until dough is formed. Add a little flour if dough is sticky or a little warm water if too stiff. Cover, put in a draft free place for 30 minutes. Roll out into 3" ropes and make pretzel shapes. Brush with beaten egg. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

Egg Biscuits

In mixing bowl , combine:
3 eggs, beaten 
1/2 cup corn oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla

In another bowl, mix:
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour 
4 teaspoons baking powder

Add flour/baking powder mixture to liquid ingredients, knead until smooth, adding flour for 
easy handling. Shape into round wreaths (as for pepper biscuits), place on greased cookie 
sheet, brush tops with beaten egg and bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Yields three to four 

Italian Easter Bread

1/4 c Sugar
1 ts Salt 1 pk Dry yeast
2 1/2 To 3-1/2 cups unbleached -flour
2/3 c Milk
2 tb Butter
2 Eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c Mixed candied fruit
1/3 c Chopped blanched almonds.
1/2 ts Anise seed
2 tb Melted shortening
5 Uncooked eggs colored with -Easter Egg Dye

1 c Confectioner's sugar
1 tb Milk
1/8 ts Vanilla
colored sprinkles

In a large mixing bowl, blend the sugar, salt, and yeast well with 1 cup of the flour. In a saucepan, combine milk and butter, heating slowly until liquid is warm and butter is melted. Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and beat 125 strokes with a wooden spoon. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Then stir in enough flour to make a ball of dough that draws away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, working in additional flour to overcome stickiness. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk about 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine the fruit,nuts, and anise seed. Punch down the dough and return it to a lightly floured board. Knead in the fruit mixture, keeping the syrupy pieces dusted with flour until they are worked into the dough. Divide the dough in half. Carefully roll each piece into a 24 inch rope - the fruit and nuts will make this slightly difficult. Loosely twist the two ropes together and form a ring on a greased baking sheet. Pinch the ends together well. Brush the dough with melted shortening. Push aside the twist to make a place for each egg. Push eggs down carefully as far as possible. Cover the bread with wax paper and let rise in a warm,draft-free place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Bake the bread in a preheated 350 F oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a twist comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool. Once the bread is cool, drizzle the icing on top between the eggs, and decorate with colored sprinkles.

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