Creamy Moutabel also called Mutabal is part of the Middle East Cuisine is made from Roasted Eggplant. A delicious way to add in your family’s diet aubergine a very healthy but much-disliked vegetable. Serve it as a part of Mezze Platter or for the Tailgating you host next?
we at We Knead to Bake are baking a French
breakfast pastry/ bread called Gibassier (pronounced zee-bah-see-ay) from the
Provence region. The Gibassier is also the name for large cookie from Lourmarin
in particular that’s about a foot long, is made with olive oil and oval shaped
like a leaf.
Gibassier is a buttery French breakfast bread to make it more
delicious it’s flavoured with candied
orange peel, orange blossom water and aniseed, and topped with a sprinkling of
plain or vanilla sugar. A Gibassier is
shaped as one big round loaf, or larger
or smaller breads. They are slashed/ snipped decoratively before they’re baked.
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. Many people refer to the Gibassier as Pompe à Huile (French olive oil
bread) while others insist the two are not the same. The Gibassier is somewhat
like an Italian Panettone, and it is believed that it must apparently be torn
apart with the hands when served to bring good luck in the New Year. It is
thought that the Gibassier is named after a mountain peak in the Luberon
Mountains, called Le Gibas. Others suggest that the name comes from the
“gibacier” which referred to a flat bag that was used to carry game, somewhat
similar to the shape of the pastry.”
is not difficult but lenghty as it involves starting with a
“Biga” or pre-ferment which is made the previous night of the baking of this
some aspects of the Gibassier which are important because they define this
Orange Blossom Water is important as it gives the Gibassier a distinct flavour
that is difficult to replicate with any substitute. So leave it out if you
can’t find Orange Blossom Water, or use
1/2 tsp orange extract instead. Otherwise you can substitute the 1/8 cup water
with unsweetened orange juice.
important part of this bread is the candied orange peel or you can substitute
it with chopped dried apricots soaked in some orange juice.
the Gibassier, brushing them with clarified butter (ghee)while still warm not
only gives them a lovely nutty flavour and taste but also helps the dusted
sugar to stick well to the bread. Clarified butter is easy enough to make, as
all it requires is to melt some butter and cook it till it turns golden.
decorative cuts in the Gibassier, don’t use a knife (however sharp it may be)
or anything that drags through the dough. What you need is something that you
can push down into the down to make a clean cut.
I am just coping and pasting here recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/16 tsp
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup
- 1/8 cup
orange blossom water*
- 1/8 cup warm
water (or orange juice) **
- 3 1/4 cups
- All the
pre-ferment/ Biga from above
- 1/2 cup
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 tsp
- 75 gm butter,
- 1 1/2 to 2
tsp anise seeds
- 1/2 cup
chopped candied orange peel (I used dried apricots) ****
- 1tsp orange
zest (use 2 tsp if using dried apricot)
- 1/3 cup to
1/2 cup clarified butter (ghee) *****
sugar or castor sugar
pre-ferment has to be made the night before the Gibassier are baked. So the
previous night, mix together the ingredients for the pre-ferment into a
slightly stiff but smooth dough. Add a little more milk if your dough is too
- Scrape the
dough into an oiled bowl and cover loosely. Let it stand, at room temperature,
for about 14 to 16 hours. At the end of this time, the dough would have risen
and have a fermented look.
- The next
morning, make the dough for the Gibassier. You can do this by hand, but it will
require some effort as the dough can get a bit sticky. Using a kitchen machine
or a food processor will make things easier.
- Put the
eggs, olive oil and Orange Blossom Water in the processor bowl and run a couple
of times to mix well. Then add the warm water and mix. If the water is too hot,
the mixture will curdle because of the eggs!
- Now add the
pre-ferment (tear it up into chunks first so it will mix easily), bread flour,
sugar, salt, yeast, and knead until the dough is smooth. Now add the butter in
chunks (3 or four times) and knead until the butter is incorporated into the
dough before adding the next chunk. Knead well until the dough is soft and
- Add the
chopped candied orange (or apricots), aniseed and the zest and knead till
incorporated. Shape the dough into a round and place in a well-oiled bowl
turning it to coat well. Cover loosely and allow the dough to double in volume.
This should take about 2 hours.
- When done,
turn the dough out onto your working surface. Divide it into 12 equal portions,
shape each into a round and let the dough rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then
shape and flatten each round into a semi-circle or oval. Make three cuts
in the semi-circle, one in the centre and two on either side of this cut from
the straight edge to the arch of the semi-circle (see photographs), by pushing
your implement straight into the dough. Making sure the cuts open up into neat
slits. Then using scissors make 4 snips along the arched side at equal
- Lift the
Gibassier dough and transfer it to a parchment lined baking sheet making sure
to stretch it a little so the cuts open up well and the slits also spread a
bit. Repeat with all the balls of dough, and let the shaped dough rise for
about 30 to 45 minutes till a little puffy.
- Then bake
them at 180C (350F) for about 10 to 15 minutes till they turn a golden brown on
- Take the
Gibassier out of the oven and brush them while still hot, with clarified butter/
ghee. Immediately press the brushed side down lightly (or sprinkle with sugar
instead) into vanilla sugar or castor sugar. Then let them cool on a rack.
- Serve them
slightly warm or at room temperature with coffee or tea. This recipe makes 12
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