Doughy Cousins Italian Focaccia and Provencal Fougasse
Baking requires decidedly more precision that cooking. Making bread with yeast can be downright scientific. The first time I attempted focaccia, let’s say the results were less than perfecto.
Focaccia is Italian or more precisely comes from Geona. The Ligurians consume this thin bread (approximately 2cm thick) all day from coffee time to the apéro hour. The dough is baked on a flat cooking sheet, and the result is a slightly spongy, airy bread with crusty edges. Rosemary focaccia is the most common version of this bread (see recipe below).
Made with similar ingredients (flour, water, oil, salt and yeast) to focaccia, Provencal fougasse is slightly different. The Provencal version often includes savoury additions like black olives, lardons (bacon pieces), onion or cheese. Slashed with a knife before baking the fougasse shape loosely represents a shaft of wheat. Here, is a recipe for fougasse.
This focaccia recipe is minimally adapted from the version that our friends Lynn and Lee’s gave me. Note: the key to perfecting this recipe to watch the colour of the bread while it's baking. You want a golden brown, crusty finish.
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