The Fougasse Recipe is the French equivalent of the Italian focaccia, most associated with the region of Provence. The traditional leaf effect is surprisingly easy to achieve and looks lovely.
Rising and proofing time:
5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 onion, finely chopped
2 strips bacon, finely chopped
3 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1⁄4 oz (7.5g) packet dried yeast
1 tsp salt
sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
1 Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan. Cook the onion and bacon until browned, remove from the pan, and set aside.
2 Mix 1 1⁄2 cups of the flour with the yeast. Add about 2⁄3 cup water, then mix for 3–4 minutes. Cover and leave to rise and then fall again. This should take about 4 hours.
3 Add the remaining flour, the salt, 2⁄3 cup water, and the remaining 1⁄4 cup olive oil, and mix well. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead to a smooth dough. Return to the bowl to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
4 Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down the dough, then add the onion and bacon. Knead well, then divide the dough into 3 balls. Flatten each ball to about 1in (2.5cm) high with a rolling pin, then shape each into a rough circle.
5 Put the dough circles onto baking sheets. To create the traditional leaf shapes, cut each circle with a sharp knife, twice down the center, then 3 times on either side on a slant. Cut all the way through the thickness of the dough, but not through the edges. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and leave to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
6 Bake the loaves for 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.