La Mona – Algerian brioche with a super light and fluffy crumb. Flavoured with orange blossom water, citrus zest and a sprinkling of sesame seeds or pearl sugar.
You can eat as is alongside your morning cup of tea or coffee, or split it and fill with creme patisserie, butter and jam or your favourite chocolate / biscuit spread. Lamona is delicious all the same.
My absence posting recipes can be boiled down to a number of reasons. I’m just going to call it, the summer slump and quickly (or should that be slowly?!) move on….
La Mona / Lamona / La Mouna
I’ve made this recipe a number of times, mostly during Ramadan – month of fasting. Though I forget exactly when I took these photos.
It happens to look quite odd, i.e. bumpy on the surface because I forgot to add the baking powder at the beginning. Chucking it in there after its first prove – BIG MISTAKE.
The dough is a very wet dough that is difficult to handle. Trick is to oil your hands, work surface and the dough when shaping.
The high water content as well as the baking powder and high amount of yeast = the best fluffy textured brioche style bread, in less than half the time it would take to make a traditional brioche.
There are varying hypothesis on the origins of the La Mona bread, which you can read about on Wiki but most seem to agree it has Spanish connections.
La Mouna is most popular in the city of Oran, Algeria. I’ve not visited the city before and therefore can’t firmly say the recipe I share today is traditional. My limited internet research tells me this recipe, which I’ve slightly adapted from Oum Shouaib youtube channel, is most likely a modern version.
The high amount of yeast may put many of you off, I know it did me at first. The key is to stick to the rise times given. Alternatively, if you are an experienced bread baker, decrease the yeast which equals a longer rise time (6+ hours). This method is generally preferred as it produces a better flavoured bread. As I was mostly making the bread during Ramadan evenings, I appreciated this quicker recipe.
And..who wants to be in the kitchen any longer than necessary this summer?!
Algerian Brioche – super light & fluffy. Flavoured with citrus zest and orange blossom water.
- 450 g Flour (T55 / all-purpose)
- 60 g Sugar (granulated)
- 17 g Yeast (fast-action)
- 10 g Baking Powder
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Sugar
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 Lemon (zest of)
- 1 tbsp Orange Blossom Water
- 2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
- 200 ml Milk (semi-skimmed or full-fat, lukewarm)
- 125 g Butter (or Margarine, softened)
- 1 Egg (yolk)
- 1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
- Sesame seeds / Pearl sugar
- In a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer place flour. Add sugar, yeast and vanilla on one side of the bowl, baking powder, salt and lemon zest on the other side. Thoroughly mix together.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add eggs, orange blossom water and milk. Mix together until a wet dough is formed. Knead in the butter for approximately 5-8mins by electric mixer or 10-12 minutes by hand.
- Cover dough and allow it to rise for 1 hour.
- Line the base of a large round baking pan (31cm), or equivalent with baking paper. With oiled hands, firstly knock back the dough inside the bowl, form into a ball, take it out and place in the baking pan, flatten the dough into a disc. Loosely cover with lightly-oiled cling-film and allow to rise 45mins, meanwhile preheat oven 180°c / gas mark 4.
- Brush surface of the brioche with the egg yolk mixmixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or pearl sugar. Bake for approx 20 mins or until deep golden brown. Remove and allow to almost fully cool before eating. You can split it with a bread knife and fill with creme patisserie, butter and jam or your favourite sweet spread.
You can make 2 x 15cm la mona if you prefer, however the cooking time may need adjusting.
If cooking in an Algerian gas oven cook the base for 10 mins then turn on the grill/broiler medium heat for 10mins.
Keeps well for upto 2 days if stored correctly.