Italian Easter Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup warm milk (120-130°F)
2 tbsp. butter, softened
7 eggs
1/2 cup mixed candied fruit, chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1/2 tsp. anise seed
Vegetable oil

1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt.  
2. Add milk and butter; beat 2 minutes on medium.
3. Add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes on high.
4. Stir in fruit, nuts and anise seed; mix well.
5. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
6. Turn onto a lightly floured board; knead until smooth, 6-8 minutes.
7. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled; about 1 hour.
8. Lightly rub with oil.
9. Punch dough down. Divide in half; roll each piece into a 24 rope.
10. Loosely twist ropes together; place on a greased baking sheet and form into a ring. Pinch ends together.
11. Gently split ropes and tuck eggs into openings.
12. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
13. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
14. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.