A native of the French province of Provence, the Gibassier is a delicately scented sweet brioche bread enriched with olive oil and the bitter tang of oranges and anise seed. It's been on my to-do list for some time and while the dough itself isn't technically challenging (although there are three days worth of proving and fermentation so make sure you plan ahead), it was the manner of this one's folding that was going to put me to task.
Gibassier loaves are traditionally round with a five score cross patterning, but I decided to set the bar a bit higher and try out a six-section snowflake and twelve-section rosette instead.
Six-section snowflake Gibassier
Twelve-section rosette Gibassier
They both baked up beautifully. The snowflake was more traditional in appearance, and while in my naivety I managed to over-splay the sections and create tethered segments rather than an actual loaf, it still had good definition and a wonderful crust.
The rosette, despite being rough and uneven, actually held firm, and there were no wayward tips flying up as it baked. This was by far my favourite of the two loaves as the shaping created a much denser loaf with a beautifully pungent and soft centre, heady with citrus and that gorgeous pull characteristic of a well made brioche.
Both were well on the way to being my perfect breakfast sweet bread. Delicate and light, the use of olive oil makes the Gibassier less-rich than a traditional brioche, and the oranges and anise also added a delightful savoury tone. The shaping obviously needs work but it was good fun, and if you'd been able to enjoy the aroma of my kitchen this morning you'd understand why, for me, the term breakfast pastry is synonymous with bliss.
Now, if someone could please teach me how to shape Swedish bullar like this...