What are we cooking today? Cougnou – the bread of Jesus, an authentic Christmas recipe.
What is Cougnou? Cougnou is a sweet bread that’s formed like baby Jesus wrapped in clothes and is made with flour, eggs, raisins, milk, yeast and sugar.
A litte about Cougnou: Usually given to children on Christmas with a cup of hot chocolate, Cougnou is said to have originated in the ancient Hainaut which has now spread vast through out the southern low countries or the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, that includes Belgium, Netherlands, France, Western Germany and Luxembourg.
Baked typically during Christmas and a very easy Christmas recipe that we have, Cougnou is often decorated with ronds or terracotta circles or romance flanders. Well, for us, it is an easy cougnou recipe with dusted sugar.
How to make Cougnou –
- 320 gr unbleached all-purpose flour (2 cups)
- 15 gr d active dry yeast (3 ts)
- 15 cl milk (2/3 cup)
- 1/2 ts salt
- 1 egg
- 50 gr sugar (1/4 cup)
- 75 gr butter (2/3 stick)
- 1 egg + 1 tbs water
- Dissolve yeast in warm milk and let it stand for 10 min. This is called proofing.
- In a large bowl, sift flour, add salt, sugar, egg, and the dissolved yeast.
- Now, knead it to an elastc dough and let it rise for about an hour.
- When the dough has doubled, punch the dough slightly and add the raisins.
- Shape dough as a newborn wrapped in blankets (See below for how to shape cougnou dough)
- Line a baking dish with parchment paper, place it and let it rise for about 30-35 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350, brush the cougnou with eggwash and bake till golden.
- Once baked, brush a 1:1 percent sugar solution on top for a crisp sweet taste.
How to Shape Cougnou Dough: