Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fougasse Stuffed with Roasted Red Pepper

It had been awhile since I had made a batch of Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day so I planned some meals in which I could utilize the bread dough. Potato soup with a nice free-form loaf and pizza where obvious choices. Some red peppers that really needed to be used directed this meal however. This bold flatbread is laced with the rich and smoky taste of roasted red pepper and was delicious served with a large garden-fresh salad. This fougasse (foo-gass) sliced, would also make brilliant hors d’ oeuvre.


Makes 6 appetizer portions

1 pound (grapefruit-size portion) of the pre-mized European Peasant dough

1 medium red bell pepper

Coarse salt, for sprinkling

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing the loaf

Whole wheat flour for covering the pizza peel


1. Cut the bell pepper into quarters (removing the seeds and membrane) and then flatten the pieces, making additional cuts if needed to flatten.

2. Grill or broil the pepper under the broiler or on a gas or charcoal grill, with the skin side closest to the heat source. Check often and remove when the skin is blackened, 8 to 10 minutes or more, depending on the heat source.

3. Drop the roasted pieces into an empty bowl and cover. The skin will loosen from the steam over the next 10 minutes.

4. Gently hand-peel the pepper and discard the blacken skin; some dark bits will adhere to the pepper’s flesh, which is fine.

5. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 °F, with a baking stone placed near the middle of the oven. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.

6. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

7. Using a rolling pin, form a large flat round approximately 1/8 inch thick. Add a little more flour than usual when cloaking, shaping and rolling the dough, because you will need to be able to cut slits into the dough that do not close and immediately re-adhere to another. Place the round on a whole wheat-covered pizza peel.

8. Cut angled slits into the circle of dough on only one half of the round (I find kitchen scissors work great). You may need to add more flour to decrease stickiness so the slits stay open during handling. Gently spread the holes open with our fingers.

9. Cut the roasted pepper into strips, and place in a single layer on the unslit side of the fougasse, leaving a 1-inch border at the edge. Sprinkle with coarse salt and thyme. Dampen the dough edge, fold the slitted side over to cover the peppers, and pinch to seal. The peppers should peek brightly through the slitted windows. Brush the loaf with olive oil.

10. Slide the fougasse directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

11. Allow to cool, then slice or break into pieces and serve.

Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day.

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