Tour De France 2018, Stage 1, Noirmoutier-en-Ile to Fontenay-Le-Comte:
1 kg plain white flour (sifted)
2 tsp. salt
3 whole eggs
250g caster sugar
150g unsalted soft butter
3 tbsp. crème fraîche
250ml lukewarm water
25g dried yeast
1 tbsp. juice of a tangerine or orange
In a bowl, combine the yeast with the warm milk and leave to prove in a warm place for a few minutes.
In another bowl, arrange the flour in a well and add the salt, eggs, sugar, butter, crème fraiche and orange juice.
Add the water and milk a little at a time, constantly mixing together.
Beat lightly, then knead by hand until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers.
Form the dough into a ball, flour lightly and place in a dish; cover with a cloth and leave to rise for 3 hours in warm place.
Grease and flour a baking sheet. Divide the dough into thirds and form into three long “sausages,” and then plait into the traditional shape of the bread.
Place on the baking sheet and leave to rise again for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (Gas 4).
Glaze with egg yolk if you want to, and then bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes.
Check the bread and bake for a further 10 minutes if necessary.
Remove from the oven, cool on a rack, and then slice and enjoy with lashings of strawberry or apricot jam.