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Food Fare: Monegasque RecipesFougasse

Focaccia Bread

Pour water into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast, and let it stand until dissolved. Stir in 1 cup of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the herbs, the sea salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until mixed well. Add in the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough is thick and a bit sticky. Turn the dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Flip the dough around to coat the entire surface. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rise for about one hour, or until the dough had doubled in size.


Punch the dough down, and divide in half. Shape into ovals, about 1-1/2-inches thick. Sprinkle the cornmeal over two baking sheets; transfer dough to the baking sheets. Brush each loaf with olive oil, and sprinkle remaining herbs on top. Make several slashes in the bread with a sharp knife. Cover loaves with clean tea towels; allow to stand until the dough begins to rise again (about twenty minutes). Remove tea towels, and place the baking sheets into an oven preheated to 450-degrees F. Pour a small amount of water onto the floor of your oven to create steam. Bake loaves until a golden brown, about twenty minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


Note: Fougasse is similar to Italian Focaccia bread made from cornmeal and herbs and flavored with olive oil. Topping variations can include anchovies, cheese and olives. Not to be confused with the Monegasque pastry topped with almonds and nuts known as Fougasse Monegasque or Fougassette Monegasque.


*Fougasse image (C) John UK (2005). Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license, a freely licensed media file repository.


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