Countries,  Italy,  Luca

We Already Got Lucky In Lucca, Can this Recipe Make Us A Double Winner?

As you may know, Lucca is a small town located in the Tuscan region of Italy. Dating back to Roman times, it’s a town full of history and tradition.

Not only is Lucca an enchanting place, but it also offers a host of traditional foods. So many, in fact, I had a difficult time choosing which recipe to share with you today! Many of my recipe articles are main dish items, but today, I decided to switch it up and offer you a type of bread, deep in tradition, a true favorite of Lucca and the entire region!

Let’s Take a look at the Tradition Behind this Sweet and Very Flavorful Bread Found in Lucca

Typically, the shape of Buccellato bread is that of a ring but you will also find it made in small loaves. Individual ringed versions give it the appearance of a bagel. This bread can also be made in one large ring and sliced into pieces.  The sweetness comes from the raisins and anise which are critical to the recipe.

Buccellato Bread as a Large Ring
Buccellato Bread as a Loaf

Buccellato Bread was a favorite of the Roman army and throughout history has taken on different traditional roles. At one point, this sweet bread became part of the celebration of Holy Cross Day in September.  Following a long sacrificial fast, it was enjoyed after mass. Today, it is enjoyed by all on a daily basis. You will find Buccellato Bread in almost every bakery throughout Lucca and the entire Tuscan region.

It’s a simple, non-time-consuming recipe and I think you will have fun giving it a whirl! Turn up the volume on some Italian music and let’s get baking!

Buccellato Bread Recipe of Lucca:

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
 Cook Time 45 minutes
 Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 slices minimum
Nutrition per serving
432 cal 22%,  Total Fat 8.48g 12%,  Carbs 80.8g 31%,  Sugars 25.75g 29%,  Protein 8.58g 17%,  Sodium 83.82mg 4%, Fiber 2.45g 9%


  • 3 cups (add more if needed) of White, Bleached All-Purpose Flour ( Do Not Use Self-Rising)
  • 1 1/4 tsp yeast- dry or cake
  • 1/4 cup white finely granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed anise seeds 
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted and clarified
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup sifted icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)


  • In a bowl, mix together white all-purpose, bleached flour, granulated sugar, sea salt,  anise, and yeast.
  • Add whole milk and melted butter and stir to make a soft dough.
  • Next, add raisins and knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes until elastic and smooth. If your dough is really sticky, add small amounts of white flour.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set aside in a warm but not hot place until the dough has doubled. Keep in mind, that it could take up to an hour for your dough to double in size. Time to double really depends on the humidity, elevation, and temperature of your location.
  • Punch it down and roll it into a log, if making it into a circle shape
  • If you are making your bread in a round shape,  grease or spray with oil a baking pan and place the rolled log on it, bringing the sides together to form a ring. Pinch them together. Place a small bowl (like a ramekin or other small oven-proof bowl) in the center and let the bread rise around your ramekin– covered – for about 15 minutes.

    Dig a Hole and Place a Ramekan or other small Oven Proof bowl in the Cente before the 2nd Rising
    After Kneading and Initial Rise, Place the Dough in a Greased Baking Pan

    For a log shape – grease a baking sheet and place the loaf in the center. Let bread rise – covered – for about 15 minutes.


  • While the dough is almost doubled, preheat the oven to 400° F
  • Optional: You can choose to glaze the bread or not. I love the dark color it provides so I usually do use a glaze. Combine a beaten egg with a little milk, then using a pastry brush, brush the top of the dough with a good amount of glaze.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the bread on top.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown. Your baking time will depend on your oven.
  • Remove from the oven, and cool the bread on a wire rack before slicing.
  • Sift the icing sugar over the top, while the bread is still slightly warm, and serve. For a special twist, I like to also sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top. (You can add the cinnamon to the sugar and sift it together.)
Some Recipes Call for a Sprinkling of Powdered Sugar for Added Sweetness

Enjoy this delightful bread warm with butter, as an afternoon snack, or as toast for breakfast. Typically, I use the recipe for Christmas morning or to celebrate the birthday of a loved one.

As you walk the streets of Lucca the aroma of baking Buccellato bread hangs in the air. The unmistakable scent of sweetness will tempt even the strongest of wills! Folks, forget your diet in Lucca!

I truly hope that you have enjoyed this recipe. Show some love by returning to my site and leaving your comments on this article.

Until next time, friends, remember “To Travel is to Live!”


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