Wake and Bake: Sicilian Breakfast Brioche

Wake and Bake

Breakfast snacks for those who get peckish first thing in the morning.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Eating ice cream for breakfast? It's awesomely indulgent. It makes me feel giddy and childlike, and I kept turning my head expecting to find my mother pop out of the woodwork, finger wagging in hand. "But Mom," I'd pout, "the Sicilians get to do it."

The traditional Sicilian breakfast starts with a frosty coffee granita and a fresh, buttery brioche roll. Sicily in the summer takes "hot" to a whole new level, and once there you easily understand the need for such an icy start. Sicilian brioche is a little sturdier than its delicate French counterpart, probably because the practice is to dunk the brioche in your granita and the last thing you want is to go bread-fishing in your glass.

Of course if you're really feeling the heat, you can go for the other classic dish: a brioche split and stuffed with a big scoop of gelato. This breakfast version of an ice cream sandwich may not exactly be everyday fare, but it's a fun way to start your morning, and totally justifiable when the thermometer is pushing triple digits. Even without the gelato, these rolls are enjoyable—soft and sweet and lightly scented with orange.

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Sicilian Breakfast Brioche »