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 GOURMET RECIPES

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Fougasse (August 30, 2001)

Bread machines just may be the neatest new appliance to come along in decades; for all those gourmands who understand and crave good bread and
find themselves in the back of beyond for the summer, it surely is the answer! Don't have one yet? Well, read on, and you'll be headed for your nearest appliance store to look them over!

Of course you have to have directions and recipes to operate this new
gadget, and hot off the press is a wonderful new cookbook, Easy Bread Machine Baking, by Home Economist Shirley Ann Holmes. All the recipes are a fabulous read, and the instructions are clear and concise. And if you are a diehard bread maker from scratch, you will still enjoy the recipes with new flavour combinations in this book.

We had to try the fougasse, and while it may be gilding the lily, topped the finished product with a sinfully rich tapenade from Olives, Anchovies and Capers, by Georgeanne Brennan. We've also included her recipe for anchoïade, a pungent, garlicky dipping sauce for bread or raw vegetables.

Maybe you're not in the South of France right now, but shut your eyes as you savour these recipes and you'll be instantly transported to Provence.

Fougasse

This sculpted leaf-shaped bread, also known as fouace, was traditionally the centrepiece and one of the thirteen desserts served at Christmas celebrations in Provence. Today it is baked year round and the savoury version is often scented with herbs or stuffed with bacon, anchovies or olives. Shirley Ann and her husband Allan Holmes enjoyed one made with Roquefort cheese while sitting on the shore of the Riviera!

Start this recipes two to three days before you want to serve it. It is best eaten warm, broken at the table, and it goes well with soft cheeses or salads.

 

Dough

1¼ cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ tsp salt
3 cups white flour*
2 tsp bread-machine or instant yeast
Topping
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Herbes de Provence or other herb blend
Olive slices or anchovy pieces (optional)

*In Canada use all-purpose or bread flour; in the United States use bread flour

Add all dough ingredients to machine according to manufacturer's directions. Select dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough, shape into a ball, place in large sealed bag and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Remove dough from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature about 1½ hours.

When ready to bake, cut away bag and place dough on lightly greased baking sheet and press with palm of hand to flatten. Stretch and pat dough into an oval, teardrop or triangular shape about ½ inch thick with 10-inch base. With sharp knife or razor make 3-inch diagonal slashes, about 2 inches apart, down each side of shape (to give effect of veins in a leaf) and use fingers to widen slashes 2 to 3 times original size so they won't close when baked. Mix 1 Tbsp oil with herbs, brush on top and decorate with olives or anchovies if desired. Let rest 15 minutes.

Bake at 450°F on bottom oven shelf for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on bottom. Remove from oven and immediately brush with remaining 1 Tbsp oil.

Cool slightly on rack; serve warm.

Accompanying wine?
Tony Recommends...

a crisply dry white wine – Muscadet, Chablis or cool climate Sauvignon Blanc.

We wish to thank Firefly Books, publishers of Easy Bread Machine Baking, by Shirley Ann Holmes with photographs by Hal Roth, and Raincoast Books, distributors of Olives, Anchovies and Capers, by Georgeanne Brennan with photographs by Leigh Beisch.

Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

 

 

 

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