New Year’s Eve has come and gone, and now we’re heading for Epiphany. So why not share with us the recipe for the most famous brioche in Béziers: the Coque de Saint-Aphrodise.

Saint Aphrodisius gave Béziers a legend, basilica, animal mascot (camel) and signature bake: a classic local speciality. Traditionally, we eat the signature buns on Fête de Saint-Aphrodise.

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, then here’s the recipe for the delicious brioche bun fragrant with orange blossom and dusted with icing sugar. If baking isn’t your thing then don’t worry, you can pick them up in any good bakery in Béziers!

>> Find out more about the legend of Saint Aphrodisius

Ingredients for 12 brioche buns:

500g brioche flour (125g + 375g)

100g sugar

50g butter

3 eggs

5g salt

125ml milk

10g yeast

2 tbsp orange blossom

Lemon zest

1 egg yolk for egg wash

Prep, the day before:

One essential step in the recipe is preparing the poolish or wet dough that will give the brioche its light and airy crumb.

Combine milk (125ml), yeast (10g) and flour (deduct 125g from the recipe). Leave to prove for approx. 12 hours. Cover with a clean tea towel. The starter is ready when it collapses itself.

La coque de St Aphrodise – Spécialité de Béziers

The following day:

Combine all the ingredients starting with the liquid ones: eggs, butter, orange blossom, sugar, lemon zest, salt, flour (the remaining 375g) and the poolish last. Combine and leave to prove for a quarter of an hour.

Cut the dough and portion it into little sausages of the same size to prove for an hour. The buns should double in size before you bake them (leave for ½ an hour under a tea towel then ½ an hour in the oven at 30°C).

Remove from the oven and preheat to 180°C.

Egg wash the buns with orange blossom and egg yolk and bake for 15 minutes. Check the bake and cover the buns with baking paper if you think they are browning too quickly.


Originally from Poitiers, she has been living in the south of France for several years now. She is now head of communications and databases at the Béziers Méditerranée Tourist Office. Putting the spotlight on each and every one of the service providers who make up the richness and originality of the region is something she takes to heart. Judging by the articles she posts on her blog, her interests tend to lie in festivities, culture and, above all, good food! Her favourite place: the Plateau des Poètes. It's a soothing place to take a stroll, and ideal for lunch in the sun.