Monday, 11 August 2014

Gibassier-Orange flavoured bread

Baking is healing, baking is fun, baking is very enriching. 
One of my reason to join various baking groups is to get the opportunity to experiment with bakes from around the world and to learn different techniques and methods. 
We knead to bake #19 is a sweet bread from France called Gibassier (zee-bah-see-ay) which is a breakfast bread and is from the Provence region. This bread is flavoured with orange candied peel, orange blossom water and aniseed. It is a decorative bread with snippets on it and is one of the 13 traditional French Christmas desserts that are traditionally served after Midnight Mass to signify Christ and his 12 apostles at the Last Supper. 
Gibassier is simple to make but only requires time as there is a pre ferment which needs to be made a night before. I had to substitute one of its main ingredient, the orange blossom water because of its unavailability and had fun making the candied orange peel from scratch. I even replaced aniseed with fennel seeds which went extremely well with the orange flavour. 
The dominant smell of the orange flavour while baking will certainly make you want to pair it with your cup of tea. I personally loved the tiny specks of orange candied peel peeping from the bread along with the fennel seeds. 

Recipe source : Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen. Adapted from CirilHitz’s Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads

Ingredients : Yields 4 

Biga (pre ferment)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • a pinch of Instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp orange essence
  • 1 1/2 tsp warm water
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 20 gms butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped candied orange peels
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest
  • All the Biga from above
Glazing : 
  • Ghee for brushing
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling

Procedure : 

Biga : 
The previous night, you start baking, mix all the ingredients in a bowl to a smooth dough. Add more milk if required. 
Put the dough in a well oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. 
Cover loosely with a muslin cloth and let it stand at room temperature fro 14-16 hours. 
The dough next morning will have a fermented look.

The next morning mix olive oil and orange essence in a big bowl.
Add warm water and mix. 
Now, add the pre ferment by tearing it into chunks and adding to the bowl. 
Add all purpose flour, sugar, salt, yeast and knead till dough is smooth.
Add butter and knead again till it gets incorporated well.
Add the chopped candied orange peels and fennel seeds and mix in the dough.
Shape the dough in a round and place in a well oiled bowl. Cover and allow to double in size for about 2 hours.
Divide into 4 equal parts and shape each into a round and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
Take one round at a time and shape into a semi circle. Make three slits, one in the center and two on each sides, in the middle of the semi circle with a knife. Make sure that the slits are clean.
Now with the help of scissors, make four snips along the arched side at equal distance.
Lift and transfer to a lined baking tray stretching a little to open the slits. 
Repeat the same for the rest of the dough.

Let it rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius, 10 minutes before the completion of the resting time.
Put the baking tray in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or till they attain a brownish tinge.

While still hot from the oven brush them liberally with ghee and sprinkle sugar on top.

Notes : 

  • You can make your own candied orange peels like I did from here.
  • This bread is just about sweet. If you want your bread a little more sweeter, add a tbsp more in the dough.
  • The bread is enjoyed best the same day, esp fresh out from the oven

Happy Orange bread enjoying


  1. aromatic bread and my fav flavor too

    1. The orange flavour was truly amazing, do try it.

  2. Hello Amrita, This is something new to me and I loved this bake. Your pictures are so amazing. Orange plate accentuates the golden hue of Gibbasier. First picture is truly amazing....Gibassiers lined up with sugar crystals shining in between. Thanks for the lovely share!

    1. Namita thank you for liking it so much..this was truly unique bake



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