These brioche-like buns – called gors or krashel – are usually sold in traditional ferrans (community ovens) in the old part of town. It’s not uncommon to see them sold on street stalls as well often by preteen boys who buy them from the ferran and peddle them at a slightly higher price (usually 20 cents more) to make some pocket money. Gors are sweet, soft and delightfully scented with anise seeds and orange blossom water. My version is partially made with whole wheat flour which makes it a little heartier than the original and perfect for breakfast with a glass of warm tea or milk.
MOROCCAN BRIOCHE RECIPE
Yield: 12 BRIOCHES
Prep Time: 15 MIN + RISE AND REFRIGERATION TIME
Cook Time: 20 MIN
Since this recipe requires refrigeration prior to baking, it is best to prepare the brioches at night and bake them first thing in the morning. They are wonderful right out of the oven for breakfast.
For the yeast
1 cup milk
2 packages (14 grams) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
For the dough
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons orange blossom water (substitute rosewater or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
3 teaspoons anise seeds
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
For the eggwash
2 tablespoons water
Microwave the milk in a small bowl for 45 seconds, until warm but not burning hot (about 105-110 degrees). Stir in the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. Let activate 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
Place the turbinado sugar, egg yolks, butter, oil and orange blossom water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix at low speed until incorporated. Add the anise seeds. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add them to the wet mixture. Add the yeast-milk mixture. Switch to a dough hook attachment and knead the dough at low speed at first, then at medium speed until light and supple, 2 to 3 minutes.
Roll the dough into a ball. Place the dough ball in a large oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and a towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 12 balls. Transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet, placing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Take the pan out of the fridge and allow to slightly warm up at room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking rack in the center of the oven.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water well to make eggwash. Brush the buns with eggwash and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Bake the buns 20 minutes.
Enjoy warm with some honey and your favorite warm drink.