The other day I went for a run on a hiking trail. While I was blissfully jogging on the trail listening to my audio book a rock suddenly popped up. I gracefully stumbled, fell on my knee, landed on my right shoulder and slid down hill. It was a move worthy to be presented on the stage of the American Ballet Theater…if it had been taken over by clowns. Needless to say I wanted to yell something like FOUGASSE!
FOUGASSE! It’s one of those words I feel the need to yell and over annunciate with a really strong Italian accent. Funny thing is it’s French. Maybe it’s because it also makes me think of fugazi. Do you know what fugazi means? It means fake or counterfeit, but there is nothing fake about this fougassee. It’s real and it’s scrumptious!
Fougasse is a bread typically associated with Provence, but found in variations in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat. Some are filled with goodies like the one I made here for you! Goodies like roasted garlic, spicy tomato paste, roasted red pepper and kalamata olives. Oh! My!
Home baked bread is magic that comes from your oven. It fills the air with a smell that hugs you on the inside and makes you want to rip the oven door open in desperation of warm toasty carbohydrates. Mmmmm….caaaarbs!
Let me tell you about this bread. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft and tender on the in side. It’s kind of amazing! My favorite part is the crispy edges. It’s perfect to serve with your favorite pasta, sliced and served as an appetizer or consumed while hiding alone in your car when listening to Air Supply’s “Without You”. “I can’t liiiiiiive! If living is without youuuuu!”
This dough recipe comes from the fabulous book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. If you want fresh baked bread in your life on a regular basis you MUST get your hands on this book! No matter what your skill level you too can have fresh baked bread everyday!
Bread - makes 4 1 lb loaves
- 2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper tomato paste or harissa
- 1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers
- 1/4 cup diced kalamata olives
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- olive oil
- kosher salt
Storage - Store the dough in the refrigerator in a lidded container (not airtight) and use over the next 12 days. This dough can be used to make a pizza crust, focaccia, flat bread or calzone. Allow refrigerated bread to rest for 20 minutes before baking.