Baking time: 20 minutes
This "sun" is a type of sweet bread, or fouace, from the Aveyron department of southern France, made only in the Marcillac valley. It's a crisp pastry eaten at all times of the year.
Every Pentecost Monday, Marcillac celebrates the feast of St. Bourrou, a celebration dating back to pagan times at which the tradition of blessing the vine buds is carried on. In ancient times, everyone carried away with them wine and "sun."
The "sun" is unique in Aveyron, although there are several varieties. Bakers may, according to their personal taste and whim, vary the thickness or the texture.
On the other hand, there are two specific characteristics handed down from ancient times: a star in the center (called the ears), and cuts on the perimeter (called the toes). Almonds are used for decoration and the whole thing is sprinkled with sugar.
- Combine the eggs, sugar, cream, melted butter, orange flower water and baking powder.
- Gradually blend in flour to form a soft supple dough.
- If desired, you can add a few slivered almonds to the dough.
Authentic "sun" comes only from the Marcillac valley!
Roll the dough out into a circle on a Silpat or parchment paper.
With a knife tip, cut a cross in the center.
All around the perimeter, cut 16 "rays" a few centimeters long.
Fold the 4 centre points outward.
To form the rays, fold one strip of dough over another, giving you 8 rays. The folding should look handmade and doesn't have to be perfectly even.
Glaze the dough with milk or egg white.
Place an almond at the end of each ray and 4 in the center.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Using the parchment to assist you, gently slide the sun onto a baking sheet. Bake in a 180° C (350° F) oven for about 20 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
Collaboration: Roueair, cycling excursions through Aveyron
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