The brioche de Saint Genix, originated in a small Savoyard village called Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers, about 30 kms from Chambery in the Savoie. It is known as either a brioche, a gateau or just a Saint Genix.
It is traditionally round and made with a leavened dough that is kneaded twice. Pink pralines* are added to the dough before baking and more praline is sprinkled onto the top with white sugar crystals. The sugar around the pralines melts a little during cooking through the brioche giving it a particular taste.
I see this brioche in all our local boulangeries and I’ve seen variations; a flatter brioche, looking more like a tart spread with a creme patisserie and then with praline crushed all over, called a Pralinette.
Brioche de Saint Genix
1 sachet of dried yeast
350g strong flour – here in France it is possible to buy brioche flour
2 eggs if using strong flour but only add 1 egg if using brioche flour
75g butter cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 dessertspoons sugar
175ml of cold milk
*if using a bread maker for the dough stage put your ingredients in, in the order according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
200g Pink Praline
50g of crystallised sugar
egg for glazing
If you want to make the dough traditionally you will need to warm the milk and add the yeast to it, then the butter, eggs and sugar. Then mix in the flour and knead the mixture for as long as you can; this develops the gluten and helps the brioche keep its shape. The dough needs to have a pliable elastic type consistency.
Leave the dough in a large bowl to rest overnight in the fridge. The following day knead the dough again and then roll the dough out and turn and fold it a few times as you would when making puff pastry. Reserve some praline for the top and lightly crush the rest and incorporate the praline into the dough. Then shape the dough into a round loaf.
Brush the brioche with egg wash and then sprinkle the pralines and sugar on top.
Bake in a hot oven around 190C for about 30 minutes until a deep brown colour and hollow sounding underneath.
Et voila – Bon Appetit!
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