A traditional Greek Easter bread, baked with a red-dyed egg on top, covered with two strips of dough in the form of a cross. This is a very sweet bread, delicately flavored with anise.
In a bowl, combine yeast, water, milk, butter, and salt. Add anise extract, beaten eggs, and sugar. Stir in flour, 3 cups at a time. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth.
Put dough into a greased bowl, turning once, and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Punch down and place in 2 greased 9-inch round pans, reserving just enough dough to form a cross on top of each loaf. Place an egg in the center of each loaf (if using) and form cross over it. Let rise 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and brush with butter.