2. In a very small pot, bring the mahlepi to a boil in 3 tablespoons water and let it seep for 10 minutes. Drain out the seeds and retain the liquid. Alternatively, crush the seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestly. In a large bowl, combine seven cups of flour, the ground almonds, salt, remaining sugar, orange rind, aniseeed (optional), pulverized mastiha and mahlepi water or crushed seeds. Make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter or olive oil, and eggs. Work from the center outwards, stirring the mixture until a dough begins to form.