This is a sweet and fragrant brioche made with olive oil instead of butter, with the combined flavours of orange zest (incorporated into the dough) and fennel (sprinkled over the egg glaze). Soft, chewy, and a little more dense than a normal brioche.
Originating from Provence, this is traditionally served as part of The Thirteen Desserts at Christmas. Representing the sitters at the Last Supper, fresh fruit, dark and light nougat, almonds, figs, raisins and walnuts are placed on the table for three days. (Easter comes to Christmas.) There are usually two loaves, one for Christmas Eve, the other for breakfast the morning after.