Fougasse with Goat Raclette and Garlic Tomatoes

I had some 5-Minute Artisan Bread (what, you’ve never heard of this? Well, go here and get with the program!) dough left in the fridge tonight, as well as melty raclette and oven-roasted tomatoes and garlic in olive oil. So the three ingredients came together in a molten-centered, chewy exterior mediterranean bread classic. My husband ADORES warm bread….what could be better? Details as follows, and don’t worry if you don’t have all the stuffing ingredients….put in the best two ingredients you have, and dive in to the baked goodness!

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Bread Ingredients

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1 1/2 Tbsp granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Stuffing Ingredients

1/2 cup grated or sliced Goat Raclette, Gouda, Comte or Fontina

1/4 cup oven-dried tomatoes and garlic in olive oil

Or one of the following, together with your favorite grated cheese:

1/4 cup pitted greek olive

2 Tbsp. capers

4 oz. sliced portabello mushrooms, fried until brown

4 oz. steamed spinach, chopped, squeezed out and well-drained

Directions

Mix yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil with water in a 5-quart bowl or lidded food container

Mix in flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor with dough attachment, or heavy duty stand mixer with dough hook.

Cover loosely (not airtight) and allow dough to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours.

Dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, or refrigerated in a lidded (but not airtight) container and used over the next 12 days.

When you are ready to bake the Fougasse, which is just a French word for a bread pocket with slits, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place an empty broiler or pie pan under the shelf you will be baking on. Grease a cookie sheet or use parchment on the sheet that will hold the bread.

Dust the surface of the refrigerated or room temp dough and split the dough into two halves. You will be using only one half for this recipe.

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

Flatten the mass of dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch on a wooden board dusted with flour. As you roll it out to achieve the right thickness, try to make the dough a long oval shape. Cut angled slits into the circle of one half of the dough, approximately 2 on each long side and one in the middle.

Place whatever two fillings you choose on the non-slitted side of the dough, trying not to overload the bread. You should have at most two stuffing items. The bread should remain the star.

After stuffing, fold the slitted half of the dough over the non-slitted side with the stuffing. Pinch the edges to seal. The dough should still be fairly sticky, so it adheres easily.

Place the Fougasse onto the prepared cookie sheet. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes on the counter, away from drafts.

Place the cookie sheet with the Fougasse near the middle of the oven. Then pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Check for doneness after 20 minutes, continuing to back, if needed, until the Fougasse is golden brown (maybe five minutes more). The Fougasse will not develop a crackly crust because of the olive oil. But it’s delicious and makes for a wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats or fish, as well as soups.

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