Easter brioche loaf (mouna)

Easter brioche loaf (mouna)

A special sweet brioche-like loaf of Sephardi Jewish origin which was eaten to break the fast on special holidays such as Passover. Mouna is also associated with Oran cuisine from Algeria and the Pieds-noirs, Europeans of French origin who returned to France after 1962, when Algeria gained independence from France.

Easter brioche loaf (mouna)

Discover more delicious Easter baking ideas.

  • Serves icon Makes 1 large loaf (enough to serve 8-10)
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, plus 3 hours proving. Oven time 40-45 min

A special sweet brioche-like loaf of Sephardi Jewish origin which was eaten to break the fast on special holidays such as Passover. Mouna is also associated with Oran cuisine from Algeria and the Pieds-noirs, Europeans of French origin who returned to France after 1962, when Algeria gained independence from France.

Discover more delicious Easter baking ideas.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
433kcals
Fat
13.7g (7.6g saturated)
Protein
9.4g
Carbohydrates
66.7g (20.9g sugars)
Fibre
2.4g
Salt
0.4g

Ingredients

  • 200ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp green anise seeds or 3-4 star anise
  • 2 tbsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

For the loaf

  • 600g plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 120g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 1 unwaxed orange
  • 2 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 120g unsalted butter, softened and chopped
  • 1 medium free-range egg yolk, whisked with 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 3 tbsp pearl sugar or roughly chopped white sugar cubes

Useful to have

  • Stand mixer
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Method

  1. In a small pan, warm the milk with the green anise (or star anise) until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse until it’s cooled to room temperature (a very clean finger held in the milk should feel neither hot nor cold). Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, then whisk in the yeast and caster sugar.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook fitted, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Finely zest both the lemon and orange into the bowl, stir again, then pour in 5 tbsp juice from the orange. Pour in the orange blossom water and infused milk, then beat for a few minutes until well combined, scraping down the sides halfway through.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat for 5 minutes, then add the butter a little at a time, waiting until each piece is incorporated before adding another. Cover the bowl with a clean team towel and leave the dough in a warm place for 2 hours until it is soft, bubbly and doubled in size.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of baking paper and knock it back, shaping it into a round loaf. Line a baking sheet with another piece of baking paper and carefully put the dough on top, then cover loosely with a tea towel and leave for 1 hour until doubled in size.
  5. Heat the oven to 160°C fan/gas 4. When the loaf is ready to go in, brush it with the beaten egg yolk and cut a cross in the top with a very sharp knife. Scatter the pearl sugar over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and it sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition

Calories
433kcals
Fat
13.7g (7.6g saturated)
Protein
9.4g
Carbohydrates
66.7g (20.9g sugars)
Fibre
2.4g
Salt
0.4g

delicious. tips

  1. The loaf is flavoured with green aniseed seeds, which you can buy in some specialist food shops or online. If you can’t find them, use whole star anise to flavour the milk.

Buy ingredients online

Recipe By

Debora Robertson

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