Brioche à la fleur d’oranger

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” Molière

November has been quite a moody month so far, with torrential rain and strong winds. There’s a certain melancholy saying goodbye to the last melons, berries and roses. There’s even a hint of frost in the morning, a gentle reminder that cold winter days are ahead. This is the best time to get cozy with a warm cup of tea sitting by the fireplace. It’s also the most inspiring time to bake. As soon as I feel slightly chilled, I want to prepare something delicious with a mesmerizing aroma filling up the house. I have a special passion for eau de fleur d’oranger (orange blossom water). It’s one of the ingredients I use most in my cooking, especially for waffles, pancakes, madeleines and brioches. The smell is pure comfort, which is exactly what I need right now. So what a better idea than baking a brioche à la fleur d’oranger. My family and I love having goûters with thick slices of brioche with butter and jam, along with hot chocolates for the kids. It’s such a timeless moment of joy. The thicker the slice, the more fun it is. If childhood had a scent, it would be the aroma of orange flower blossoms.

It does take time to prepare a good brioche, but it is so simple to make. I would advise to make this in the evening and let it rise overnight. When you wake up, you’ll just have to knead the dough for a few minutes and let it rise a little longer. Then it’s off to the oven for a brioche bien ‘dorée et gonflée‘ (golden & puffed up)!

300 g/ 2 cups 3/4 plain flour (sifted)
2 eggs
50 g/ 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pack of baker’s yeast (8 g/ 1 tbsp)
90 g/ 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp butter (cubed, at room temperature)
1 tbsp butter (for lining mould)
1 pinch of salt
90 ml/ 1/3 cup lukewarm milk
30 ml/ 2 tbsp orange blossom water
2 tbsp lukewarm water (to dissolve yeast)
1 egg for glazing
A handful of small sugar grains (to sprinkle on brioche – optional)

Note: I used a traditional brioche mould, but you can really use any types you wish. It can be baked in a deep cake tin or a rectangular tin.

Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with 2 tbsp of lukewarm water. Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until it turns frothy. In a large bowl, mix sifted flour, salt, sugar, yeast and butter. Add eggs, orange blossom water and milk gradually and mix well with a big wooden spoon. Start kneading until you get a smooth ball-shaped dough, about 8-10 minutes. Cover bowl with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm room/environment overnight.
The next day: Start kneading the dough on a non floured surface, just to get rid of a few trapped air bubbles, about 1-2 minutes. Line the brioche mould generously with butter and place the dough inside. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise again for 1 to 2 hours (depending on how patient you are!). Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. With the help of a brush, glaze the surface of the brioche with the egg. Sprinkle with sugar grains all over and bake brioche for 30 minutes. If the top starts to brown too much, place a sheet of parchment paper to protect.

31 thoughts on “Brioche à la fleur d’oranger

  1. This is right up my street. Will definitely give this a go as soon as I find a good mould. I wonder if the mould you use can be found in the French supermarkets? It looks delicious as you say after school on a cold, rainy day.

    1. Bonjour Elizabeth! Yes, these moulds can be found at all French supermarkets. I love their shape and use them regularly for crème caramel, charlottes and brioches. Bonne journée! Mimix

    1. Which country do you live in? In France it is sold everywhere because it is commonly used in so many cakes and desserts (it’s heavenly in an orange salad with mint – I have the recipe under couscous). You could try going to an oriental food store as it is very popular in Oriental cuisine like Moroccan, Tunisian etc. There’s also ebay stores, then organic health stores? Good luck! Mimix

        1. When buying orange blossom in the usa, make sure you buy water based blossom water. Its more common to find alcohol based orange blossom water (which is used to make cookies or perfume), and it kills the yeast… Happened twice ugh!

          Ill bake this brioche for christmas! Merci beaucoup for the recipe!

  2. This sounds so lovely – a beautiful tradition with your family. 🙂 My man loves his bread sliced as thickly as possible, so I know he would really like this. 🙂

  3. I love that you used the words “mesmerizing aromas” – that smell or scent can be transporting. It does!, and most especially as the cold weather approaches and we need that extra sensory lift. Mimi, I really enjoy your thoughtful writing, the beautiful photography, and the shared recipes that describe a very sensual living of life!

  4. The brioche looks amazing! It is one of those treats that is definitely worth the time you spend waiting for it. I’m also fond of a brioche I’ve had with little flecks of candied orange peel in it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. Bonjour Mimi! Thanks to your posts, my French boyfriend is looking forward to me cooking as many of your recipes as possible – a temporary cure for his homesickness. Little does he know he is coming home to fresh-baked brioche tomorrow. Now, if only we could find cèpes here in San Francisco…

  6. Many thanks for the great recipe, it worked perfectly in our London kitchen. My wife came home to a surprise rising in the windowsill, and it was some of the best breakfast brioche we’ve have.
    Next time I hope to add a bit of chocolate 🙂

  7. Mimi, when you say, “I used a traditional brioche mould”, is that tinplate steel or non-stick, please? I want to try this recipe and be sure to have the right pan, thank you.

  8. Hello Mimi!

    I am having a bit of a Julia and Julia moment with Manger- I have been cooking my way though your blog non-stop, desserts and dinners equally. Your recipes are beautifully written and simple and have taught me both the pleasure of traditional french cuisine as well as classic skills that I have been able to carry through into my own cooking. I especially treasure the madeleines and garlic soup from your book.

    I will be looking to see if your show is available to US audiences.



  9. Bonjour Mimi,
    Je me régale de tous vos plats et de toutes vos photos… Plaisir des yeux, plaisir du goût !
    Est-ce que vos livres de recettes sont traduits en français Bien que je révise l’anglais de cette façon.
    Merci beaucoup de votre réponse.
    A très bientôt
    Françoise DASTROS

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