Provencal Fougasse

Fougasse 2
So, I’m actually not quite sure how to pronounce this word, despite my eight years of French, but this easy-to-make bread was so fun! By adding a little garlic and herbs at the beginning, it transformed the bread, and then it baked up simply, and was such a great accompaniment to soup. In fact, it was kind-of like making breadsticks, but much simpler. So, I hope my friend Debby, who I got to share this with, and many others enjoy this recipe! This recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking.

Provencal Fougasse

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 T. chopped fresh oregano (I used 1 t. dried, since I didn’t have any fresh)
1 T. chopped fresh thyme (Ditto the oregano here)
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 package (2 1/2 t.) active dry yeast 
1 3/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. salt
Semolina flour for dusting
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and olive oil. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
 In the 5-qt bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the oil mixture, flour, and salt. Place the bowl on the mixer, attach the dough hook, and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes.Remove the dough from the bowl.
Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, 1 1/2-2 hours. 
Punch down the dough and turn it onto a clean work surface. Cut the dough in half with a sharp knife or a bench scraper. Shape each piece into a loose ball, cover with a dry kitchen towel, and let rest for 5 minutes.
Liberally dust 2 half-sheet pans or rimless baking sheets with semolina flour (or line the sheet with parchment paper). On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each portion of the dough into a rectangle with about the same dimensions as the prepared pan. Transfer each rectangle to the prepared pan, spreading it out with your hands if it shrinks when you pick up. Facing the narrow end of a rectangle, and eyeing the vertical center of it, use a sharp knife or a pizza wheel to cut 3 slits at an angle down the left side of the center, and 3 slits down the right side of the center. Gently pull on the dough to open the slits up slightly so that they widen into ovals. 
Cover the dough loosely with a dry kitchen towel and let the breads rise again until they double in size, 20-30 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. Bake the breads until they are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely in the pans. Store tightly wrapped in aluminum foil at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 2 weeks. Reheat at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
Yield: 2 large flatbreads
Fougasse from WS

One thought on “Provencal Fougasse

  1. Tonia's Castle says:

    wow, this looks scrumptious. i love love bread. it is my second weakness, next to chocolate.

    ref French. when i was studying the language i found that different sites pronounced the same word differently. i gave up…and went to France, told em politely i didnt speak french and they graciously spoke English for me. 🙂


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