Anise Seed Rolls

This is one of my favorite roll recipes. Everyone gets excited when I tell them I’m making these for Thanksgiving. They are sweet and have just the slightest hint of anise. They’re definitely worth the work, and I hope you love these as much as my family does!

Original recipe makes 36 rolls


2 cups milk
2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1 quart water, divided
2/3 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons anise seeds
8 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed

  • PREP

    25 mins

  • COOK

    15 mins


    3 hrs 10 mins


  1. Pour the milk into a pan, and heat just until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm (110 degrees F/45 degrees C).
  2. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup lukewarm (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) water. Allow to rest 5 minutes.
  3. Beat the shortening with the sugar, eggs, salt, and anise seeds in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the milk and yeast mixture. Gradually mix in the flour, stirring to make a soft dough (dough should not be sticky). Add more flour if needed. Cover bowl with a clean cloth, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Punch down dough, divide into two pieces, and roll out each piece into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into 8×1 inch strips. Twist each strip into a simple knot, and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover with a clean cloth, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  6. Pour 1 quart water into a pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Dip each roll quickly into the boiling water, and return to baking sheet.
  7. Bake rolls in preheated oven until tops are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.


Calories: 168 kcal
Carbohydrates: 27.6 g
Cholesterol: 13 mg
Fat: 4.6 g
Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 3.8 g
Sodium: 76 mg