The uncommon ingredient in the Romans loaf, is orange flower water, a distillation of the blossom of the bitter orange tree.
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F.)
1 cup flour
6 cups flour
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup rum or brandy
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup orange flower water (0r 4 teaspoons orange extract)
8 ounces soft butter
1 teaspoon milk
Cut two 16 inch round parchment paper disks to fit under each pogne. Butter each disk. Place on baking sheet. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
Stir in flour to make a soft dough. Let dough rise in covered bowl at room temperature (70-75 F) to double in bulk. On a working surface, form a well with 1 1/2 cups flour. Break 4 eggs in center. Bring the flour and eggs together to form a mass.
Turn dough to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed.
Batter will be smooth and light golden yellow. Add, rum or brandy, sugar and 2 teaspoons water. salt and orange flower water and stir in.
Gradually add butter while mixing. When all the butter has been stirred in, add remaining eggs and blend well at medium speed. Knead the rest of flour, one cup at the time until dough is soft and elastic. Form dough into a ball. Return to the large bowl. Cover with plastic.
When the starter has developed, it is added to the larger ball of yellow dough. Place the yellow dough on the working surface and flatten. Spread the starter dough over it. Fold over the yellow dough to envelop the starter dough.
Work and knead together to form a smooth dough with no streaks of color remaining. Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume. Turn dough onto work surface.
Divide into 2 pieces. Form each into a ball. Flatten the ball so the pogne is about 8 inches in diameter.
Press a thumb down in the center. With the fingers, open a hole about 4 inches across. Place pogne on the prepared paper disk on baking sheet. Repeat for second piece. Cover with wax paper and let rise at room temperature free of draft for about 21/2 hours. Brush with glaze. With a razor blade, make 3 connecting cuts on top of each pogne to form a triangle.
Bake at 350 degrees until crust is a deep glistening brown.