Sun-Dried Tomato Fougasse

January 23, 2008 at 4:37 am Leave a comment

I first saw bread like this in a market in France and I thought it was absolutely beautiful! It looked like it would be very difficult to make, but in fact, it is simple cuts in the dough that make the pretty leaf-like pattern appear as it bakes. The bread is most associated with the region of Provence, but it is fairly common in other regions with variations of additional ingredients. You can make it plain, with sea salt, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fruit, cheese, nuts or any combination of these items. To eat, you just pull it apart with your fingers and enjoy. It can be served hot or cold. I make the dough in a bread machine for easy clean-up.

Sun-Dried Tomato Fougasse
Ingredients:
8 oz. luke-warm water
3 cups flour
1 tsp. crushed sea salt
1 tsp. instant yeast
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. sun-dried tomatoes (re-hydrated)

To Make:
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bread machine according to your manufacturer’s directions. Set to dough cycle. After 30 minutes of rising in the machine, remove dough. Fold dough in half, turn a quarter turn, and fold again. Repeat this process three times to ensure a well-kneaded dough.
Spread the dough into an oval on a non-stick baking sheet. To form the pattern, notch the dough with a knife in a diagonal slices and stretch the dough to enlarge the cuts. Leave the dough in the pan to rise slightly for an additional 20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Here’s a little trick I learned for making bread. In French, it’s called a “coup de buée.” Add about a cup of boiling water to the broiler pan in the oven and quickly close the door. Let it rest for just a minute before adding the dough. This allows steam to gather in the oven and makes the golden crispy crust on the outside. Be careful not to burn yourself! Lower heat to 400 degrees and place bread in oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Yield:
2 loaves

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Entry filed under: baking, Bread. Tags: , , , .

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