I couldn’t resist. I had to make them for myself. The “active” time on the recipe is minimal, but the time needed for rising, resting and proofing made this an all-day affair. Most recipes I found on the internet are some version of the gibassier by Ciril Hitz, with each cook adding her own alternations. For this initial attempt, I decided on Anne’s recipe at Dinner Plate. Her goal was to duplicate the gibassier from Pearl Bakery, which was the location of my revelation, so I thought it was a good place to begin. Rather than reprint it here, you can find her recipe by visiting her site. This recipe is similar to the others with a few modifications including adding an egg to the pre-ferment, replacing some olive oil with more butter, decreasing the anise seed but adding more candied orange peel and increasing the yeast.
I’m no better than the rest of the chefs out there as I couldn’t leave her version alone either. I used the candied orange recipe at Chocolate and Zucchini rather than the version at Dinner Plate. I prefer Clotilde’s version which includes some of the pulp on the final product. For flour, I substituted higher-gluten bread flour for APF, as was recommended in many of the other recipes. Also, I wanted pronounced anise flavor, so I increased the anise seed back to the original amount (1.5 t.), toasted the seeds and slightly crushed them.
I must admit that this initial batch turned out pretty damn good. On the next go, there are two definite changes I’m making. First, at 100 grams, the finished pastries are just too damn big. Next time, I’m trying something in the 70-80 gram range. Second, using the superfine sugar as a coating meant they finished gibassier didn’t have the same sugary, finger-licking crust as Pearl Bakery. I adore the sandy sugar texture on my teeth as I bite into the bread – and I miss it. Next time, it’s standard granulated sugar.
Other things I will try on subsequent rounds:
- Activating the yeast before adding it to the pre-ferment and dough. No one recommends doing this, but this was standard operating procedure in culinary school.
- Using the olive oil to butter ratio found on other sites. While butter is always best (mmm…butter!), it seems olive oil is the more traditional route.
- Trying APF flour rather than Bread flour to compare the final texture, although I was very happy with my version.
The majority of the batch went in the freezer and out of my immediate reach – my jeans couldn’t take a 100 gram gibassier a day for the next 12 days. I’m parsing them out – enjoying one half every morning with my coffee. At this rate, the batch will almost last a month…if my willpower holds steady.