Buccellato bread of Lucca – make and enjoy one of Lucca’s unique delicacies

Buccellato di Lucca is from the Tuscan region and particularly – the city of Lucca. The bread is made with raisins, and it used to be the favorite of the Roman army.

Shaped in the form of a ring or a loaf, this ancient bread is different than other bread. The distinctive anise flavor is prevalent and adds a good flavor to the bread. This bread is just slightly sweet, filled with raisins and while soft inside, and has a crisp crust.

Buccellato bread is particularly made for the Holy Cross Day in September and enjoyed after the mass. Enjoy it with a glass of Vin Santo or toast leftovers for breakfast.

We always take visitors to our favorite bakery, pasticceria, in Piazza San Michelle, Fabbrica Taddeucci to try a loaf. Other places in Lucca make the bread – just slightly different. One particular place chops the raisins very fine and has a softer crust. It’s good, just not our favorite. You can find them here.

Buccellato Bread

Buccellato bread is an ancient bread and favorite of the Romans when visiting Lucca in Tuscany

Prep Time – 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time – 45 minutes

Total Time – 2 hours 30 minutes

Servings – 12 slices minimum


  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed anise seeds or fennel powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup Golden and regular raisins


Buccellato bread rising in bowl - ouritalianjourney.com
  • In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, fennel powder and yeast
  • Add milk and butter and mix to make a soft dough
  • Add raisins and knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes until elastic and smooth
  • Cover and set aside until double in volume. This will depend on the weather but could be at least an hour
  • Punch it down and roll it into a log, if making it into a circle shape
  • For a round shape – grease a baking sheet and place the rolled log on it and bring the sides together to form a ring. Pinch them together. Place a small bowl (like a pyrex dessert bowl) in the center and let the bread rise – covered – for about 15 minutes.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 Buccellato bread is in the final proving, preheat the oven to 200° C
  • Optional: You can choose to glaze the bread or not. I love the dark color it provides so I usually do it. Can use a combination of a beaten egg with a little milk or sugar and water. I prefer the egg with a little milk.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the bread on top for either shape
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until the top is golden.
  • Remove from oven, cool the bread on a wire rack before slicing

Ilene and Gary are award-winning bloggers and new authors of their first book, “Our Italian Journey,” which they wrote while living in Italy for one year in 2019. They have a successful following on their website and social media accounts and wanted to share their memoir and personal adventure during this year. Read more from Ilene and Gary at www.ouritalianjourney.com.

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