Fougasse, fougasse…the Garlic version

Fougasse is mostly made and served as a tasty accompaniment to soups, as well as operating in sandwich like snacks for the family.  Fougasse also pairs very well with a number of pasta dishes, or creamy casseroles.  Even something a simple meal can seem a little more special with the addition of fougasse to the table.  Typically, the baked fougasse will be served with a light dusting of herbs.  The exterior of the bread is crusty, but one can still fold over the fougasse and add ingredients of individual choice to the “pocket”.  As an example of bread that can transform from a simple presentation to something quite elegant, fougasse is well worth considering for a dinner. This particular one, the garlic fougasse, however, is really a tasty meal on its own, supported by a good quality cold drink.

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Ingredients

500g flour
1 teaspoon salt
10g  yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
300ml water
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed

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Directions

Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil. 1 clove of garlic (crushed) and water in a bowl. Blend to form a dough and  knead by hand for at least 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large bowl and set aside to rest in a warm place for 1 hour, or in a cool place overnight – the overnight proving gives a better taste and texture.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / Gas Mark 6 and grease and flour a large baking tray. Divide the dough into three or four  even-sized portions and shape into balls. Roll out each dough ball into a rough oval, 0.5cm thick. Cut several slashes in each oval – one down the middle and three smaller ones to each side and then brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with the fresh minced garlic (1 clove). Cover and allow to prove for a further 30 minutes. Place the fougasse on the greased baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes until well risen, golden brown and the bacon and cheese are melted and cooked.

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