Pan de Muertos

adapted from Cocina de la Familia

4-5 c flour
2 packages active yeast
2 tbsp. anise seeds
2 sticks (1 c) butter, melted
6 egg yolks, beaten
2 whole eggs, beaten
heaping 1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

for the glaze:
juice from 1 large orange
1/4 sugar
1 tsp orange zest (optional)

Steep the anise seeds in 1/4 c boiling water until cool, about 15 minutes. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 c warm water.
Pour the anise seeds (and liquid), yeast, melted butter, sugar, eggs, and salt into a large bowl. Gradually add the flour 1 c at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides and forms a slightly sticky ball. Knead for 10 minutes on a floured surface.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hrs.
Turn out the dough and pinch off a few pieces to make the decorative top. Form the rest into a nice round and top with pieces of dough arranged to resemble bones with a knob center. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees, about 45 minutes.