Experiencing the magic of a Provencal Christmas is incomplete without indulging in the 'pompe à huile' - a typical brioche of the region made with olive oil and orange blossom water, which is part of the tradition of the 13 Christmas desserts in Provence.

This custom has survived for centuries.

The 13 desserts of Christmas, representing Jesus and his 12 apostles, are an essential part of the holiday season in Provence.

The pompe à huile is a delicious way to connect with the heartwarming traditions of a Provençal Christmas and experience the region's deep-rooted history and festive spirit.

We are delighted to share our authentic recipe of the pompe à huile with you, which is a perfect way to introduce the unique and delightful flavors of a Provencal Christmas to your festive celebrations.


Pompe à huile recipe


300g flour

1 tsp baker's yeast

50ml (1.7oz) olive oil

80g of sugar

4 tsp orange blossom water

One pinch of salt

One egg yolk

100ml (3.38oz) of water

1. Mix 50g of flour with the yeast and water in a large bowl.

Place it in a warm place to allow proofing (for instance, an oven that you would have before heated for 5 minutes and then turned off).

Let it rest for 2 hours.

2. Stir in the same large bowl the olive oil, the orange blossom water, the salt, the sugar, and the rest of the flour little by little, mixing with a fork until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place it in a warm place and let it rest for 2 hours.

3. Oil a baking sheet.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a round, about 1cm thick.

Place the dough on the baking sheet.

Brush with the egg yolk to which you have previously added a tbsp of water.

Place it in a warm place and let it rest for 45 minutes.

4. Make a few notches on the top and bake in a preheated 392F (200C) oven for about 10 minutes until nicely browned.

Enjoy! (but let it cool first)



Diana, a talented culinary photographer in Toronto, took all the beautiful photos accompanying this recipe.