Dark, rich coffee, a bit of fresh fruit, and Le Gibassier still warm from the oven. Ah, morning in Provençal.
There are a few things you'll need to have on hand if you want to make this. Candied orange peel is a must. If you don't have any on hand, make some by simmering orange peel in simple syrup until softened, 20-30 minutes. Drain and and toss in sugar, then let dry on a rack over a sheet pan. You'll also need sourdough mother.
110 g buttermilk
120 g all-purpose flour
60 g sourdough mother
150 g whole eggs (3 large)
65 g extra virgin olive oil
20 g Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
30 g water
400 g all-purpose or bread flour
7 g kosher salt
100 g granulated sugar
10 g yeast
70 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-6 g anise seed
70 g candied orange peel, chopped
First you'll need to make a pre-ferment, or biga, by mixing together the buttermilk, flour, and sourdough mother. It's best to mix the buttermilk and starter first, to soften the starter, then add the flour. Mix thoroughly, cover lightly with plastic, and let sit at room temperature overnight, at least 12 and preferably 18 hours.
On baking day, start by whisking together the eggs, olive oil, liqueur, and water. Using a dough scraper or spatula, cut the pre-ferment into several small pieces and add to the liquids. Mix thoroughly to soften.
Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast, then add to the liquid. Mix until the dough comes together. If you're using a stand mixer, use the dough hook. Once the dough comes together, let it rest for five minutes so the flour can hydrate fully.
While the dough is resting, soften the butter if it isn't at room temperature by pounding it flat using a rolling pin. Begin kneading the dough in the bowl (or with the mixer), adding the butter one piece at a time, waiting until each piece is fully incorporated until adding the next. This will take several minutes.
Once all the butter is fully incorporated, add the candied orange peel and anise seed and knead until fully incorporated. At this point you need to test the dough by performing a window-pane test. There are pictures of what you want to see in my Brioche post.
When you have kneaded the dough sufficiently, form it into a ball and put it in an oil-sprayed bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 2 hours. It will grow somewhat, but probably will not double in size in two hours. If your yeast performs better than mine and it achieves a doubling, great!
Divide the dough into even pieces of 90-100 grams each. It's easiest to do this with a dough scraper and scale. The more precisely you measure the pieces, the more evenly they'll bake, but don't get too worked up about it. Roll each piece into a torpedo shape, then flatten it. Using whatever tool you have that will work, make three holes in the dough, then make cuts on one side between each of the holes. Gently pull to open the holes, then place on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Let the dough proof for 1½ hours.
About 30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven. If you have a convection oven, set it at 350°F, otherwise preheat to 400°F. Bake the gibassiers until golden brown, about 10 minutes in a convection oven, or up to 20 minutes in a regular oven.
While the gibassiers are baking, melt some unsalted butter and prepare a plate or baking sheet with a generous amount of granulated sugar. As soon as the gibassiers come out of the oven, brush them generously with the melted butter. Let the cool only long enough for the butter to set, then toss them in the granulated sugar to cover.
Le Gibassier tastes best about 4 hours after baking, in my opinion, but they'll hold overnight if you don't want to stay up all night making breakfast breads for brunch. If you let them sit overnight, a very slight rewarming reawakens the flavors and aromas. I suggest a maximum of 15 seconds in a microwave, or until just barely warmed in an oven.
(Submitted to Yeastspotting)