Fougasse aux Herbes de Provence (French Flat Bread with Herbes de Provence)
Fougasse is a type of French flat bread from the Provence region. It is often cut or shaped in the form of a leaf, wheat, or tree. The bread can have various flavors mixed into the dough including herbs, dried fruit, cheese, nuts, anchovies, or olives. Adding ice chips to the oven when baking produces a crispy crust with a soft center. I put the ice chips in a small baking dish and placed it on the bottom rack of the oven to help create steam. The unusual style of the flat bread is what first led me to try this recipe. Shaping this bread would be a fun project for children.
Herbes de Provence is a dried herb mixture based on the plants that grow readily in the Provence region of France. Prepackaged blends became available in the 1970s. Herbs in the mixture usually include rosemary, basil, thyme, savory, tarragon, marjoram, and fennel. Lavender has also been added to many blends available in the United States.I have been able to find it in the spice section of major grocery stores. It is sometimes listed as French Herbs. You can also make your own: Emeril Lagasse Herbes de Provence.
Fougasse aux Herbes de Provence (French Flatbread with Herbes de Provence)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons dried Herbes de Provence
2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let sit for a minute before stirring. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup flour, Herbes de Provence, salt, and 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Mix in the remaining 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough forms. Knead on lightly floured surface until dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Grease large bowl with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and add dough, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment.
Place dough on lightly floured surface, punch down, and divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll out one piece in an oval shape until 10-12 inches long. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.Make a long cut down the center of the oval, leaving about 1 inch intact on the top and bottom. Make upward diagonal cuts about 1-1 1/2 inches apart on each side of the center cut, leaving about 1 inch intact on the sides. Use your hands to spread out the incisions. Repeat with other dough piece.
Cover each prepared bread with moist towel and let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes.
Place 1/2 cup of ice in a small baking dish. Place baking sheets in preheated oven with the baking dish of ice on the bottom rack. Immediately close the door.
Bake until golden on top and beginning to crisp, about 15 minutes. Rotate and turn baking sheets at around 7 minutes.
Let cool on wire racks.
Adapted from Spice Roots
Tara\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Multicultural Table
Tagged: bread, European, flat bread, flatbread, focaccia, fougasse, france, french, herbes de provence