week sixteen – bread à la gioia

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bread. seriously. who doesn’t love bread? only weirdos. (my apologies if you are one of ’em. you’re missing out). as pretty much every week since this project started, i felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of recipes one could try out. sweet and savoury and sweet AND savoury. rye and wheat and potato and rice and corn. long and round and small and big and buns and loaves. luckily, however, i am in possession of a baking book aptly titled “bread”. which is where i went looking for inspirations and (once i was done drooling and daydreaming about carving a bed out of a still warm crusty picnic loaf) was in luck.

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in the very last chapter titled “enriched breads” (and boy, was that bread enriched!)  i came across a bready creation by the name of “savoury brioche couronne”. isn’t it fascinating how french foods (or just french terms in general) automatically make things sound much fancier and more elegant than they usually are? the same is the case with this baked good; despite “couronne” (which autocorrect keeps turning into “corona”) meaning crown, i very much doubt that the queen of england, or any royal, would put it onto their regal heads. anyway. i am rambling. the dough, featuring what felt like 90% butter, was flattened (but not knocked back) after a first rise, topped with salty parma ham, mild mozzarella, some fresh basil and a few pinches of freshly ground pepper. roll it up, slice it up, twist it up and form into a ring. after a second prove (and i do not know why the baking fairies didn’t seem to have anything else to do other than making the couronne rise, but it became absolutely HUMONGOUS) the monster was egg washed, topped with some parmesan and baked. considering its size, i ended up taking a good four fifths to uni the next day, where it was gratefully eaten and enjoyed (alistair had a ridiculous four slices. what greater compliment can a cook get?).

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