Dreaming of Orange Blossoms – Fouace Nantaise (BBB January 2017)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Fouace Nantaise, based on a recipe by Jamie Schler; orange blossom; yeast in the dead of winter; failure to learn from past mistakes; a Bread Baking Babes (BBB) project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Brrrrrr… it’s coooooold outside!!

Fouace Nantaise Bread Baking Babes’ Fouace Nantaise, January 2017

Adonc Marquet, grand bastonnier de la confrarie des fouaciers, lui dist : « Vraiment tu es bien acresté à ce matin, tu mangeas hersoir trop de mil. Vien ça, un ça, je te donnerai de ma fouace. »
– François Rabelais, Gargantua, 1534
As I learned in the course of my education in the kitchen, “the recipe is never the recipe.” It might look comprehensive and legally binding, but in fact these recipes should be treated as a set of sketches or notes.
– Michael Pollan, Appendix I: Four Recipes, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, p878

For January’s BBB project, I waffled like crazy about what to choose. Without actually considering waffles…

Savoring Italy Cover Initially, it was going to be Carta da Musica, after reading about them in “Savoring Italy” by photographer Robert Freson:

On the island of Sardinia, eligible men used to choose their wives, not for their beauty or their intelligence, but for their ability to bake bread. […] The reason so much importance is given to bread in Sardinian culture probably stems from the fact that […] sheep or goat herding is the principal profession, and bread, which keeps well, can be carried up into high pastures and needs no further preparation, is the perfect shepherd’s food. […] Sardinian women have developed pane carasau, a flatbread so light and thin that it has been nicknamed carta di musica, or sheet music bread.
– Louis Inturrisi, Sicily/Sardinia, Savoring Italy, p229,230

Then, I saw something about the gluten-free Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread), that is made with cassava flour. (We did make these – remind me to report!)

Of all the foods I fell in love with in Brazil, Pao de Queijo (literally translated to ‘bread of cheese’, how can that not be delicious?) is right up there at the top. […] [T]here are several different methods to making these little balls of heaven.
– Sarah Wells, Our Best Bites: Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pao de Queijo}
[P]ão de queijo is one of my family’s favorites. […] I use [half sweet and half] sour tapioca flour but the real trick is the cheese you use: queijo coalho.
-Danielle L, Brazilian Musician

At exactly the same time as we bought cassava flour, we saw that large bags of reasonably priced oranges were available. And suddenly, I remembered that I wanted to make Jamie’s (Life’s A Feast) Fouace Nantaise again.

So. After asking Jamie and making sure she didn’t mind, Fouace Nantaise is what January’s project is. Considering that oranges are at the height of their season in late December and January (or at least that’s the case in the northern hemisphere), it just seemed fitting to choose a bread made with oranges. Even though not much of the orange is used….

Fouace Nantaise Created in the 19th century by winegrowers in La Haie-Fouassière, a village near Nantes […] This treat in the shape of a six-pointed star consists of a sweet dough made from flour, butter, milk, sugar and sometimes local eau-de-vie. […] It is enjoyed on its own or with jam, for breakfast and tea.
france-voyage.com | Fouace nantaise

You may be wondering how it was that I first learned about Fouace Nantaise. Of course, it was because of Jamie.

I was one of the people who had the honour of testing recipes for Jamie’s cookbook “Oranges” (with photos by Ilva) published by Gibbs Smith and due out in November 2017.

Fouace Nantaise I first made Fouace Nantaise last July and it worked out beautifully. I took it to my niece’s house for dinner. She and her roommate loved it….

One of the things that I loved about the fouace was that it calls for Orange Blossom Water.

Say what???

At first, I didn’t know where on earth to find orange blossom water (aka orange flower water, fleur d’oranger). A quick search on the internet informed me that it is readily available in middle Eastern grocery stores.

Orange extracts The internet was right. And, happily, it’s not at all expensive. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a bitter orange tree (eg: Seville Orange) in your garden, you can make your own orange blossom water.

Here’s how things went:

BBB Fouace Nantaise diary:

5 July 2016 11:56 Hmmm, Jamie’s ingredients list is a little confusing with various weights/cup measures. Ideally, I like to see the amounts for each ingredient in the list of ingredients and not have to read through the instructions to find out how much of each thing to use.

Jamie calls for active dry yeast to be added to the flour. I was a little alarmed that there were visible yeast grains after the flour was mixed in for her first step.

Oh oh. I think I slightly overbaked it, forgetting that I had made just half the recipe.

But we all thought it was delicious and that it had a lovely looking crumb. All of us agreed that it could use a little more salt. I think it was a little dry (but that might be because I may have baked it a little too long and/or I added too much extra flour and/or that I was in a foreign kitchen and/or I missed the tiny amount of whole wheat flour that I usually add to mimic hand-milled flour.

I’d really like to get a hint of orange flavour though. Next time, I’m going to use Grand Marnier or Cointreau instead of rum. And maybe a little orange zest would be nice.

And definitely I’ll add more salt. I’m afraid that I made a mistake and forgot to halve the amount of salt. I added 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground seasalt. I’m guessing that’s an equivalent of more than 1/4 tsp regular table salt. Yet, the bread still wasn’t salty enough.

13 January 2017 17:23 Eeeeeek!! Look at the date! It’s almost the 16th and I still haven’t made Fouace Nantaise again.

Fiddle-dee-dee. It’s probably bad luck to make Fouace Nantaise on a Friday the 13th anyway. I’ll make it tomorrow. Yes, that’s it. Tomorrow.

14 January 2017 09:45 ingredients for Fouace Nantaise Well! That was mostly painless. Ish.

My transgressions continue and I used salted butter rather than unsalted – because that’s what we have in the fridge. Even though the recipe I gave to the others calls for unsalted butter.

The temperence union must have paid us a visit in the middle of the night. I could NOT get the top off the Cointreau bottle. I tried for about 5 minutes and muttering the whole while, finally gave up and just mixed and kneaded the rest of the ingredients.

Once I had a lovely soft supple ball of dough resting nicely in the bowl, I sat down with the Cointreau bottle. I began twisting the top again. And twisting. And twisting. Then I remembered Mum’s wise words: “You have to hold your mouth the right way”. And, as always, Mum was right. I let that Cointreau bottle know who was boss and suddenly, the top came right off. Easily. :lalala:

I measured it out and poured it into the bowl, then by squooshing for about 5 minutes, I finally got the Cointreau into the dough. Which is now resting in the oven with only the light on. I hope it’s warm enough in there… it’s only 15C in the kitchen itself.

18:31 Shriek! It’s too cold in the kitchen! The dough hasn’t risen enough to be shaped. I took it out of the oven with only the light on, folded the dough and stuck the bowl (covered, of course) into the cold section by the back door. To stay there overnight. As punishment.

I’ll get up early tomorrow, warm it up and shape it and bake it in the morning.

I hope.

15 January 2017 09:26 Nooooooooo!!! WHAT possessed me to choose a bread that calls for so much butter, sugar and eggs?!

I staggered out of bed this morning at 5:30 and took the bowl out of the cold area by the back door to put it back into the oven with only the light turned on. I tried not to let myself become entirely awakened by the fact that the dough had not budged overnight.

It still hasn’t really moved. :stomp: :stomp:

The resident expert (how is it that he is always right?) thinks the alcohol killed the yeast. How weird that it didn’t happen in July!

This happened to Elle as well!

I did have trouble with the dough not rising, so did a workaround with more yeast, flour and water which I made into a soft dough, let rise, then kneaded it into the orange dough and let it all rise again. I think that all of the butter, milk and alcohol might have bested the original yeast a bit, so the reinforcements were needed.
-Elle in message to BBBabes, 6 January 2017

I think I’m going to follow Elle’s lead and mix a little yeast, water and flour, knead it in now to see if I can rescue it. So we don’t have “a flat plasticine brick”, as T suggested might happen.

11:55 Sigh. Well, it looks like it’s maybe starting to move. But, of course, yesterday was my window for being home all day to bake the bread. I have to go out of town in about an hour and won’t be back until late tonight.

In the meantime, I looked through all our bread books and saw pretty much nothing about when, how to and/or what happens when adding alcohol. And. Didn’t we make beer bread? This didn’t happen then! Did it?? (I just looked and see that the others made Beer bread but I didn’t. Oops! But I see that I have made Beer Quickbread and had some problems with it too. How quickly I forget.)

Here’s some of what I found on the internet about alcohol and yeast and slow/no rises:

As a trained and working chef and having taken classes in food chemistry – if you introduce alcohol into a bread dough prior to rise the yeast will be killed even though you have made the yeast prove itself. If you soak fruit in alcohol such as brandy, you will kill the yeast. This doesn’t not happen with small amounts like you would have in say vanilla extract. You can let the bread go through its fist rise and then attempt to add the booze.
– James R, in response to Does alcohol kill bread yeast? Why won’t my bread rise?
Factors affecting fermentation – Slower fermentation is best for the development of flavor and gluten strength.
1. Temperature of the dough; optimal fermentation temperature is 78 – 82 degrees F
2. Temperature of the room: optimal temperature being 75 – 80 degrees F. (When the temperature exceeds 85 degrees F, off flavors result.) Dough can still rise in cooler environments, but much more slowly.
3. Fermentation time; allows for the development of distinctive flavor and texture, depending on type of pre-ferment
4. Amount of yeast; the more yeast the faster the fermentation. Too much can add an undesirable yeasty flavor.
5. Type of yeast; instant active dry yeast contains fast acting yeast
6. Amount of salt; typical Baker’s Percent is 1.8 to 2.5
7. Amount of sugar; small quantities (up to 5 Baker’s Percent) increases yeast activity. Above 10 Baker’s Percent, slows yeast activity
8. Type of sugar; sucrose, glucose and fructose are fermented rapidly; maltose is fermented slowly; lactose is not fermented at all
9. pH of dough; optimal pH is acidic 4 to 6. Above, fermentation slows. As yeast ferments, it produces acids to lower the pH to that range
10. Presence of antimicrobial agents; Most spices, have antimicrobial activity, such as cinnamon and can slow fermentation. Be careful how much is added to the dough directly
– Sarah Phillips, Crafty Baking | Yeast Fermentation

After consulting with the resident expert, we decided to leave the bowl on the counter and I’ll shape it when I get back tonight to bake tomorrow morning. T will keep an eye on the dough today and push it down if it seems to be rising too quickly. As if that’s going to happen.

Cue hysterical laughter….

23:30 I just got home and saw a note on the bowl saying that T had turned the dough at 19:00. I am assuming that it had doubled.

shaping Fouace Nantaise It didn’t really look as if it had doubled but I did the finger poking test and the hole stayed in the same position. So I shaped it, covered it over with a domed lid and left it on the cold kitchen counter to languish there overnight.

I mean, really, what difference is it going to make now? And maybe, just maybe, by some miracle, we will be enjoying freshly baked Fouace Nantaise tomorrow morning!

16 January 2017, 09:05 Nothing like coming in under the wire!

Whenever I have been driving on the highway late at night, I’m always wired and can’t sleep. So, because of that, I woke up late this morning to see the sun shining brightly. Though reluctant to emerge from the covers into the chilly room, I was still anxious to see what had happened (if anything to the shaped fouace).

Wow Wow Wow :-) :-)

shaped Fouace Nantaise It doubled!! I immediately turned on the oven and as soon as it was ready, put the bread into the oven. And pulled it out 15 seconds later because I had forgotten to brush it with milk. I slathered the top generously with 2% milk (I would have used cream if we had it) and back into the oven it went.

09:25 I can hardly breathe – the aroma of oranges and bread baking is intoxicating!!

09:40 We have oven spring!

Fouace Nantaise

We left the bread to cool on a rack as we made coffee and then, when it was still a little warm, we tore off two branches each and gave it a taste.

The orange flavour was faint but definitely present – especially in the aftertaste. And the crumb was soft and wonderful. Everything about the fouace (aside from the ridiculously long time it took to rise) was fabulous.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jamie!

It will come as no surprise to people that I made some changes to Jamie’s recipe for Fouace Nantaise…. Hmmmmm, perhaps I should have left well enough alone.

Here is what I did to her recipe:

BBB Fouace Nantaise
based on Jamie Schler’s recipe for Fouace Nantaise

Fouace Nantaise: Pain brioché sucré en forme d’étoile à six branches
Trouver-en-Bretagne.com | Fouace Nantaise (La Haie-Fouassière)
Nantes’ cuisine is unique: neither rich, hearty nor particularly luxurious, it is light and elegant, a subtle blending of the river, the ocean and the land, a true cuisine du terroir. […] But nothing, not a meal, not one dish is complete without salt or our own beurre salé, salted butter: Nantes is knee deep in salt marshes and is famous for the local fleur de sel. One finds it for sale in tiny little plastic sachets snowy white and smelling of the sea or blended with herbs or spices, the better to add a special flavor and fragrance to any dish, either savory or sweet. […] La Fouace Nantaise, a star-shaped, rum-spiked, butter and egg rich brioche-type bread eaten with a glass of Muscadet […] [is just one of] the sweet treats enjoyed in Nantes.
-Jamie Schler, Gâteau Nantais: A Secret Worth Knowing, Huffington Post, 27 March 2011

makes one star/flower-shaped loaf

  • 50g (3+1/2 Tbsp) unsalted butter (or salted….)
  • 60g (60ml) milk
  • 3g (3/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 7g (~1+1/2tsp) orange blossom water
  • 45g (45ml) orange liqueur – Grand Marnier or Cointreau (Jamie’s recipe calls for Rum rather than orange liqueur)
  • 2 eggs, body temperature, lightly beaten
  • 250g (~2c) flour:
       » 50g (scant 1/2 c) 100% whole wheat
       » 185g (1+1/2 c) unbleached all-purpose
       » 15g (2 Tbsp) wheat germ
  • 25g (2 Tbsp) sugar
  • zest of one orange, optional
  • 4g (~1/2 tsp fine) sea salt
  • milk or cream, for wash on shaped loaf
  1. mixing: Melt butter.
  2. Pour milk into a largish mixing bowl. Add the melted butter to the milk to raise the temperature to body temperature (check with a thermometer OR by placing a drop on the inside of your wrist – if the milk feels cool, it’s too cold; if it feels hot, it’s too hot; if it feels like nothing, it’s ju-u-u-st right). Add yeast and whisk in until it has dissolved.
  3. Adding them one at a time, whisk in eggs, then pour in orange liqueur and orange blossom water. Place flours, wheat germ, sugar, salt, and orange zest (if using) on top. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the flour has been absorbed. (Traditionally, the bread is made with rum rather than orange liqueur. The first time I made this, I did use rum, but I really wished that the flavour was more orangey so decided to substitute with orange liqueur for the BBB project.)
  4. kneading: Using one hand to turn the bowl and the other to dig down to the bottom to lift the dough up to the top, turn, fold, turn, fold, etc. the dough until it is smooth and elastic. As you knead, resist the temptation to add more flour or water.
  5. Once the dough is kneaded, cover the bowl with a plate and allow the dough to rise, until almost completely doubled, on the counter in a non-drafty area. *** If there is a problem with this egg/sugar/butter/alcohol dough not rising: mix together 2gm yeast, 50gm warm water and 50gm flour. Knead this into the unrising dough. Cover and allow to rise to double before proceeding to the shaping. ***
  6. shaping: When the dough has doubled, it’s time to shape. (To check to see if it’s ready, poke a hole in the top of the dough. If the hole fills up, it hasn’t risen enough. If there is a whoosh of air and the dough deflates a little, it has risen too much. If the hole stays in exactly the same configuration and the dough remains otherwise intact, it is ju-u-st right.) Turn the risen dough out onto a very lightly floured board (just the smallest dusting will be enough). Divide the dough evenly into 7 pieces.
  7. Shape each piece into a ball. Place one ball in the center of a parchment-lined cookie tray. Arrange the other six balls of dough loosely around the center ball – to form a flower. Cover with a damp (clean) tea towel followed by plastic grocery bags and leave to rise until almost doubled. (To test, using a floured finger, gently press against the side of the shaped bread. If the indentation immediately jumps back, it’s not ready; if it stays indented, it has over-risen; if it gradually fills in, it’s ready to go.
  8. baking: Preheat the oven to 350F. Gently brush the top of the risen bread with milk (or cream). Put the tray onto the top shelf of the oven (to prevent the bread from burning on the bottom) and bake for about 30 minutes until the bread is a “deep golden brown”. Jamie also writes that the outer “petals” of the flower “will have just started to pull away from the center ball”.


* I don’t know how to use an electric mixer, because we don’t have one. Of course, if you want to use your electric mixer for mixing and kneading, you should do so.

** Next time, I think I will omit the liqueur entirely and simply add a little more milk or water. (Or orange juice???) Also, I’m thinking that I’ll substitute one of the eggs with ground flaxseed and water. That way, we should be able to have our fouace and eat it too in a reasonable length of time.

*** When we were reading “Cooked” by Michael Pollan, we were really struck by the fascinating section on milling. I’ve known for a while that whole wheat flour was white flour with the bran and germ added back in. But what I didn’t know was that it might be possible that all of the wheat germ has NOT been put back. And I got to thinking about the fact that our 10kg bag of 100% whole wheat flour lasts a suspiciously long time without going rancid….

Further grinding of the gears in my brain deduced that if the reason that wheat germ tends to go rancid is because of the fat content in it, and that flavour is often carried by fat, maybe I should try adding wheat germ.

So. As an experiment, I added some wheat germ to a loaf made with 50% whole-wheat, 50% unbleached all purpose flour. We tried the bread. Wow!! The flavour was spectacular.

I do know that this is hardly scientific to have only one test but the result was so spectacular that I have slightly revised the Jamie’s recipe even more, to include wheat germ in the ingredients.

When millers mill wheat, they scrupulously sheer off the most nutritious parts of the seed—the coat of bran and the embryo, or germ, that it protects—and sell that off, retaining the least nourishing part to feed us. In effect, they’re throwing away the best 25 percent of the seed: The vitamins and antioxidants, most of the minerals, and the healthy oils all go to factory farms to feed animals, or to the pharmaceutical industry, which recovers some of hte vitamins from the germ and then sells them back to us—to help remedy nutritional deficiencies created at least in part by white flour. A terrific business model, perhaps, but terrible biology. […]
[M]ills have been expressly designed to produce the whitest possible flour, splitting off the germ and embryo […] To leave the germ in the flour would literally gum up the works, I was told by an experienced miller by the name of Joe Vanderliet. This is why it is always removed at the beginning of the milling process, even when making “whole” wheat flour. […] Most commercial whole-wheat flour is actually white flour to which the bran and germ have been added back in. […] Vanderliet claims that many large mills, including ones he used to work for, simply leave the germ out of their “whole-grain” flour “because it’s just too much trouble”—a serious charge, but a difficult one to prove. (So here we are again, not quite certain what is really in a sack of flour.)
– Michael Pollan, Thinking like a Seed, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, p576,577, 602,603
Purchase the wheat germ at a health food store that does a brisk business so that is is fresh, and store it in the freezer. […] The germ, located at the bottom of the oval wheat grain. It is high in oil, with a sweet/nutty flavor. […] When baking bread with flour ground from the whole wheat grain, it is necessary for the germ to still be alive when ground to make bread with good texture and flavor. The germ is viable for only a few weeks after grinding, which is why whole wheat flour over six weeks old is no longer good for baking bread.
– Rose Levy Beranbaum, Heart of Wheat Bread, Ingredients, The Bread Bible, p.314,544,545
In our search for ways to make the home baker’s job easier, we looked for natural equivalents for the dozens of chemicals bakers use, […] In our researching attempts, some of the most interesting information we came across was in old books written for bakers — books published around 1920 […] [O]ne book suggested that adding a tiny amount of wheat germ to your white flour had an improving effect on the dough. The amount suggested was not too different from the amount that occurs naturally in whole wheat flour.
– Laurel Robertson, Some Natural Dough Conditioners, The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book, p271
Flour […] Wheat is the most suitable for bread-making, and […] it is interesting to study the structure of the kernel […] [A. The husk. B. The aleurone layer. C. The endosperm] D. The germ, rich in fat and vitamins. […] The germ, which has high food value, is too often removed, as it darkens the flour and lessenes its keeping qualities.
– Winnipeg Public Schools, Flour, Theory and Practice in Household Science (1937), p.16


Thank you, again, Jamie!

Fouace Nantaise

Bread Baking Babes BBB January 2017

As you already know, I am hosting January 2017’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. And we know you’ll want to make Fouace Nantaise! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make Fouace Nantaise in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 January 2017.

Here’s how to let us know you made the bread:

  • email me
    » Remember to include your name and a link to your post
    » Please type “BBB January 2017 bread” in the subject heading

Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please email if you want to be included.

If you don’t have a blog or flickr-like account, no problem; we still want to see and hear about your bread! Please email me with the details, so your walnut bread can be included in the roundup too.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ January 2017 bread:

As Katie has so fittingly said in the past:

As always, we have some very busy Babes at the moment….. But just so you know: We’re all still BABES!

Here is Jamie’s recipe as I copied and pasted it when it was still in the running as a possible entry for her orange cookbook:


1 pound (500 grams) flour, divided, plus more for kneading
2 1/4 teaspoon (15 grams) active dry yeast
1/2 cup (115 ml) milk, warmed to body temperature
Large pinch of salt
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 small juice or wine glass of rum, about 3 ounces (90 ml)
1 tablespoon fleur d’oranger (orange flower water)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 additional egg for egg wash, lightly beaten

Place 1 cup (125 grams) of the flour in a medium-sized mixing bowl with the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Add the warm milk and stir briefly just to wet all of the dry ingredients. Allow to proof for 20 – 40 minutes or until doubled in size, puffy and bubbly.

While the yeast mixture is proofing, place the rest of the flour into a large mixing bowl with a large pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), the remaining sugar, the softened butter, the glass of rum, the fleur d’oranger and the 4 lightly beaten eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon until all of the dry ingredients have been moistened and the mixture is well blended. Add the proofed yeast mixture and stir the together until well blended. It will be very sticky, too sticky to handle.

Scrape the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Knead the dough, adding enough extra flour until the dough is no longer sticky and is soft, smooth, and homogenous. Carefully divide the dough into 7 equal parts, form into balls and place one in the center of a parchment-lined baking/cookie tray. Place the other balls of dough closely around the outside of the center ball to form a star shape. Don’t worry if there are gaps between the balls of dough. Cover lightly with a piece of plastic wrap then a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the dough with the beaten egg and bake for 40 minutes. The fouace will have risen and be a deep golden brown. The “branches” of the star will have just started to pull away from the center ball of brioche.


chat noir
In the dead of winter…
Sitting in the sun and dreaming of Orange Blossoms

Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet
by Jamie Schler with photos by Ilva Beretta,
(Gibbs Smith Publishing)



This entry was posted in baking, BBBabes, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, bread recipe, food & drink, Orange Appeal, posts with recipes, whine on by . Fouace Nantaise

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17 responses to “Dreaming of Orange Blossoms – Fouace Nantaise (BBB January 2017)

  1. Lien

    I loved this bread, just don’t know how you can say it has too much butter and eggs, is that even possible? It’s always scary when it doesn’t rise within time, but the ovenrise made up for that. I loved your addition of wheat germ, but next time I’ll use all white flour with the germ). Thanks for picking this lovely recipe!

    1. ejm Post author

      I only say that because I think the butter and eggs are what caused it to rise so so so slowly (because it couldn’t possibly be the coldness of our kitchen, could it? :lalala: )

      I’m starting to add a little wheat germ to all our bread. I’m almost completely convinced that the manufacturers have removed it almost entirely.

      All the thanks go to Jamie. I would never have known about the bread if it weren’t for her.

  2. tanna jones

    That settles it. I’ve got to get that rise. I loved every thing about this bread and must get it lighter. Beautiful shaping. Coffee and jam. Bake again.

    1. ejm Post author

      Thank you, Tanna!

      I think that omitting the liqueur OR adding it much much later will do the trick to get the stupid stuff to rise more and/or faster.

      Coffee is perfect with this. But instead of jam, we’re thinking that we should echo the orange flavour by serving it with Seville orange marmalade. (Fouace is great with goat’s cheese too – we had a little ash-covered goat’s cheese left over from Christmas. It was the perfect balance for the sweetness of the rolls.)

  3. Karen

    My first rise took a long time, but it did rise eventually. The poor yeast had quite a battle. I put it in the microwave with two coffee mugs of boiling water to create a “warm place.” Thanks so much for introducing us to Jamie’s bread!

  4. Bread Experience

    Elizabeth, thank you so much for choosing this bread! I love the hint of orange flavor, the shape, and the history behind this bread! Thanks!

  5. Kelly

    These were just brilliant! I had one with dinner tonight, spread with creme fraiche and damson plum jam, (they didn’t have any mascarpone at the store), and it was totally fabulous. I think mine ended up having 3 hours of rise time because I ended up having to run some errands. And it was over risen by the time I got to shaping, but since that was first rise it really didn’t matter. Hubby said they dipped into the soup really nicely too!

    Orange Bowknots came from my Mom’s old Better Homes and Gardens Bread Cook Book… Oh my goodness, I forgot they called for shortening! I’d use butter of course if I made them again. Fairly similar recipe though otherwise, though only one egg for the proportions of the fouace. And there is orange juice and peel in the dough. Basically replace the rum with juice and there you go! Though there is a thin glaze of orange peel, juice and powdered sugar.
    Oh look, I found it! http://www.bhg.com/recipe/breads/orange-bowknots/
    The only difference is they allow for butter or shortening, and the extra ¼ cup milk replaced a ¼ cup water to proof the yeast.
    The shape makes them fancy looking.

    1. ejm Post author

      Thank you for pointing to the Bowknots, Kelly! Yes, butter rather than shortening for me too! My mum used to use shortening in everything as well – I guess it was the style – but now would never think of using anything but butter. (Unless maybe coconut oil or olive oil….)

      Oooh, it never occurred to me to serve this bread with soup. It wasn’t too sweet for the soup?

      1. Kelly

        I would have thought so myself, but he liked it and he is not big on lots of sweet stuff. And they went fine with chili too, though I had mine with butter and jam. But the flavors were very complementary. I think the sweetness is at just the level to be able to go either way, savory or sweet.

        1. ejm Post author

          That is so cool.

          But thinking about it, I can see the bread would go well with chili. Sometimes a little touch of sweetness is just the thing to counteract the heat of the peppers.

  6. JamieS

    So except for my error in calculating the gram weight of the yeast – or actually I miscalculated backwards, halving the amount into teaspoons yet the 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast was the perfect amount, my recipe works super well as it is. I love reading your entries because you always seem, in your desire to experiment and personalize recipes, to complicate things. But I learn so very much from you and your baking experiments! I do agree that this recipe needs a bit more pizazz, but I suggested increasing the sugar and, yes, adding orange zest. I love the heady hit of rum but I would definitely try it next time with cointreau! Thanks for choosing this recipe for the Babes – I am truly honored – and thanks to you I dusted off the recipe and finally made it again which I have wanted to do for a long time!

    1. ejm Post author

      Thank YOU for introducing me to the recipe, Jamie! I’m so glad you approved of the choice as well as baking the bread again too.

      Ha! You want to add more sugar?? :lalala: A chacun son goût….

      I did like the bread with rum, but I’m thinking the next time, I’ll try it with just orange blossom water, orange juice and orange zest and zero alcohol.

  7. katiezel

    I love Jamie’s original comment about having it with a glass of muscadet…. We have a huge bowl of oranges sitting on our counter all winter long, replenished weekly. And Fleur d’Orange is readily available here. Hmmmmm

    1. ejm Post author

      And you can easily get muscadet in your neck of the woods too, can’t you? (J’adore muscadet with a creamy blue cheese – I bet that would be a delicious extra as well.)

    1. ejm Post author

      Me too, Louise. But I always forget until I’m mixing the dough. Next time I’ll try to remember to get SAF Gold Yeast to see if that helps. (Also, next time, I think I’ll omit the Cointreau entirely and replace it with orange juice.)


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