Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gibassier, a delightful french bread with orange and anise

This month, the ‘We Knead to Bake’ challenge set by Aparna was to make some Gibassier. This is a sweet bread, almost a pastry, from the Provence region of France. At first glance, the flavours of orange and anise seemed a delightful combo, and I wanted to make this straightaway. Then I read the recipe, and realises it was not as straightforward as the other breads I have made. In fact, this is the most complex bread recipe I have ever made so far. And that was daunting, but exciting at the same time.

Gibassier, a french bread with orange and anise

Gibassier, a french bread with orange and anise

The key challenge here was the soft, super enriched dough, and the use of a pre-fermented starter dough or ‘Biga’. So this called for some careful planning and preparation. And the recipe also introduced me to a new ingredient; orange blossom water. I’d never used it before, but was intrigued. I must admit, we had problems with the rise on the first proving. After two hours, there was no sign of any activity. So I left it overnight and by morning it had become a monster!

Don’t know if I will go through the whole hassle again, but in the end, it was a great experience (though the journey was trying) with an excellent end result. The house smelled divine, with aromas of orange and anise wafting through the kitchen as the bread baked. and the breads tasted perfect, slightly warm, with a hot cup of coffee.


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Penne with garlic chilli pesto

Inspiration time in our household. Recently someone gave me some homemade chilli garlic pesto. Made with home grown basil and chillies. And it was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. I will now have to get the recipe and create this masterpiece from scratch myself.

In the meantime, some penne with garlic chilli pesto, and sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano. Sometimes the simplest things are the tastiest. When you can taste each ingredient, and they sing together in perfect harmony on your palate, you know you’ve got a winner.

Penne with Chilli Garli Pesto

Penne with a homemade chilli garlic pesto