Pan de Muertos

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, cut into 8 pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup very warm water

2 eggs
3 cups flour, unsifted

Bring milk to a boil. Remove from heat, then stir in butter, sugar and salt. In a large bowl, mix yeast with warm water until yeast is dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes, then add the milk mixture. Separate the yolk and white of one egg. Add the yolk to the yeast mixture, saving the white for later. Add the other egg, too. Now add the flour to the yeast and egg mixture, blending well until a ball of dough is formed. Flour a work surface very well and place dough in center. Knead until smooth. Return to the large bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, and let dough rise in a warm place for 90 minutes. Grease a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Turn dough out onto floured surface again and knead once more. Then divide the dough into fourths. Set one fourth aside. Roll the remaining three pieces into ropes, all of about the same length. They should be fairly hefty--not dainty ropes. Pinch three rope ends together and braid. Finish by pinching ends together on opposite side. You should have one long braided loaf. Next, divide the remaining dough in half and shape each half into a bone. Cross the "bones" in an "X" shape and lay them atop the braided loaf. Cover bread with the dish towel again and let it rise for 30 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the following:

3 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon anise seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In another bowl, beat egg white slightly. When the bread has finished its 30 minutes of rising, brush top with egg white and sprinkle with the sugar mixture, being careful not to get any on the crossed bones. Bake for 35 minutes, or until done, at 350 degrees.