Fougasse

If you bake your own bread you may like to make these crisp, flat loaves from the south of France. A fougasse is seasoned with crushed grattons and is made in a distinctive shape, either like a hand with short fingers or the dough is slashed to make a kind of trellis; it bakes to a golden brown and children, especially, love breaking off the pieces from these oddly shaped loaves to crunch as a snack.

Ingredients

  • 450 g(1 lb) white bread dough, ready for baking
  • 85 g(3 oz) grattons
  • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

Place the bread dough on a floured board and flatten slightly.

Crush the grattons – either tip them into a plastic bag and pound into small pieces with a rolling-pin or chop until small in a processor or blender.

Spread the grattons over the dough, fold over and knead for 3–4 minutes until well distributed. Divide the dough in half and roll out each piece to an oval shape about 1 cm(½ in) thick.

Take the first oval and make about six cuts around the outside radiating from one end to make short stubby fingers. Place on a floured baking sheet.

Roll out the second piece of dough until longer. Make 5 or 6 parallel cuts in the short direction right through the dough so that the loaf resembles a ladder. Stretch slightly to separate the rung-like strips of dough and place on a floured baking sheet. Brush both loaves with olive oil.

Leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes until the dough is puffy. Bake in a very hot oven (Mark 8, 230°C, 450°F) for 10 minutes; lower the heat to Mark 6 (200°C, 400°F) for 20 minutes, when the bread should be golden and crisp. Remove from the oven, brush with olive oil and cool on a wire tray.

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