Brioche de Saint Genix

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.  

Recipe for Brioche de 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. 

Traditionally these Saint Genix brioches are wrapped in a red and white paper, the decoration on top of the brioche and the paper symbolise the colours of the Savoie.

Pierre Labully

A pastry chef Pierre Labully from Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers invented this recipe around 1880.  He developed this brioche from a traditional 18th Century recipe given to him by his wife, which originated in a nearby village, but he made it his own by adding the rose praline.

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.          
The pink praline is a Lyonnaise speciality. It is a sugar-coated almond, the sugar coating is naturally coloured pink and lightly flavoured.
The pink praline is a Lyonnaise speciality. It is a sugar-coated almond, the sugar coating is naturally coloured pink and lightly flavoured

During my research I discovered several varying recipes for the brioche, but here is one I tried and it was good!  I have to admit I did use my *bread maker to make the dough!!

Recipe for 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
200g Pink Praline
50g of crystallised sugar
egg for glazing

*if using a bread maker for the dough stage put your ingredients in, in the order according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to make a Brioche de Saint Genix

  • 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.
Proving a brioche de saint genix
Proving the Brioche de Saint Genix
  • 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. 
  • Leave to rise in a warm place for around 2 hours.
  • 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!

Brioche de Saint Genix recipe
Biscuit de Savoie Recipe

Biscuit de Savoie

If you like this cake, you may also like The Biscuit de Savoie another Savoyard speciality.The Biscuit de Savoie, is really a cake, a very very light sponge cake, normally made in an attractive Kugelhopf shape mould. Its origins go way back to the 14th Century

Click on the image for the recipe

Why not pin this Brioche de Saint Genix recipe for later!

Brioche de Saint Genix from Taste of Savoie

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4 thoughts on “Brioche de Saint Genix

  • Pingback: Give us our daily bread | Taste of Savoie

  • December 10, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    This recipe shows the dough proving with the pralines inside. However, I do not see any instructions to indicate that the dough needs to prove after adding the pralines. It says to add the pralines, shape it into a ball, brush with egg wash, and bake in the oven. Is the proving time missing?

    • December 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      oh goodness, you are right! I’ve rectified that now. You would do the second prove for around 2 hours – thank you so much for spotting that! Happy baking


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