Pompe å L’Huile

Pompe å L’Huile

These are a traditional Christmas time dessert from Provence France.  They are a vegan brioche so rather than butter there is olive oil used instead.  This recipe was posted by Melissa over on Breadtopia and I followed her excellent formula.  I did make some changes.  I did not have ground anise so instead used Chinese Five Spice.  Also instead of just orange, I used a combination of Meyer Lemon and a smaller amount of orange.  Pompe å L’Huile recipe

Ingredients

  • Stiff Levain (250g, 56% hydration) 
  • 140g bread or all purpose flour
  • 70g water
  • 40g starter, 100% hydration
  • Final Dough 
  • 80g water (1/3 cup)
  • 100g sugar (½ cup)
  • 12g orange blossom water (1 Tbsp or additional orange juice)
  • 9g salt (1½ tsp)
  • 3g ground anise (1 tsp) (can substitute Chinese 5 Spice ¾-1  tsp)
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 36g orange juice (3 Tbsp)
  • 120g olive oil (½ cup + 1 Tbsp)
  • 350g bread flour (2 2/3 cups)
  • 250g stiff levain from above, doubled or tripled in size
  • Optional 
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil to brush on the breads when hot from the oven
  • The night before you plan to bake, mix a 56% hydration sourdough starter weighing 250g. Knead it on the counter for 1-2 minutes, and then place it in a jar with room for tripling. Cover and leave it somewhere warm. This stiff starter can be created from a single feed of 40g 100% hydration starter, 140g bread flour, and 70g water.
  • Mixing
  • In a medium bowl (ideally with a pouring spout), measure out the water, sugar, orange blossom water, salt, and ground anise.
  • While the sugar and salt begin dissolving, zest and juice the orange, straining out seeds and pulp.
  • Stir a bit and then add the oil.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, briefly whisk your flour and instant yeast – OR – add the stiff starter in chunks to your flour. If you chose to proof your yeast, you can simply pour the mixture over the flour.
  • Add the orange mixture to your stand mixer bowl and begin mixing using the dough hook attachment.
  • Mix 5-8 minutes, initially on low speed and then low-med. Pause once early on to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and only slightly sticky to the touch toward the end of mixing.  Should come clean off the sides of the bowl.  (Took much longer than 8 mins)
  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, mix by hand or with a spatula, and then slap and fold the dough for gluten development. Videos of this technique can be found here.
  • First Rise
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until about doubled. This was 3 1/2 hours with instant yeast, and 8 hours with sourdough.
  • Shaping
  • Scrape the dough onto your countertop. There’s no need to flour or oil it. Divide the dough in two pieces and roll them into balls.
  • Cover the dough balls with a large piece of plastic wrap (you’ll reuse this) and let them rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also prepare two parchment squares and bake the breads one at a time on a smaller baking sheet.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough balls into circles about 8 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.
  • Transfer the circles to the parchment paper, and make cuts in the dough as if it were pie but without reaching the center or the edges. Open the cuts a bit with your tool (spatula) or your fingers.
  • Final Proof
  • Cover the dough with your sheet of plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until puffy, almost twice as tall. This was 1 1/2 hours for instant yeast, and 4 hours for sourdough.
  • Baking
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F with a shelf in the center position.
  • Bake the pompe à l’huile for 16-18 minutes or until the internal temp is over 200°F. If your fermentation times were long, the color of the breads may be lighter despite the interior being cooked through.
  • Lightly brush the breads with olive oil to help them stay soft longer.
  • Let the pompe à l’huile cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, then sprinkle powdered sugar on them if desired.
  • The breads can be wrapped for storage, and softened through reheating in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.