I love bows. So for part of playing around for my ceramics-course-that-is-disguised-as-a-food-independent-study, I made foccacia bows.
What inspired them? First, a trip to the library. Which I love. Because not only did I find a Pierre Herme book (which will get its own post one day in the future), I found The History of Bread by Bernard Dupaigne.
And it is exactly what I ever wanted in a history of bread book. It covers continents, cultures, and time all relating to bread. Full of photographs and ancient ullustrations - enough that if I bet bored reading, then I will never be bored looking. And in the back, a recipe section!
fougasse in french, focaccia in italian, whichever language you prefer, the result is the same: a relatively flat bread sprinkled with herbs that works great with soup or as a sandwich bread. yum yum.
and i love bows. and this bread was perfect for molding these little babies.
Recipe, adapted from The History of Bread by Bernard Dupaigne, p.240
1 2/3 tablespoon active dry yeast1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. I like to let it sit for a minute and let it dissolve before I actually stir it, or else I get a clumpy mess.
1/4 cups lukewarm water
6 tablespoons olive oil + 1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups whole wheat flower
shredded cheese (optional)
2. I'm lazy and used a food processor. (Why wouldn't I? I love it!) I dumped the flour and salt in, and dug some holes for the yeast.
3. Poured the yeast in the holes and then covered them up so yeast wouldn't be flying everywhere when I turned it on.
4. Turn food processor on, and as it is mixing the yeast and flour, gradually add the olive oil and water in together until the dough mixture pulls away from the side and doesn't stick to the container.
5. Let the machine knead it for about 2-3 minutes total.
6. Put the dough in a buttered/greased mixing bowl, cover with saran wrap, and let it rise for 2 hours.
7. Once risen, punch down and begin rolling and molding it into desired shape! The most traditional way is to roll it to a large oval, and then slit 8 slits to make it leaf shaped. But you can do whatever you want, like I did with the bows.
8. Before baking, brush with olive oil so you get a lovely brown color. Optional: you can add herbs on top for a wonderful aroma and taste. AND you can also add shredded cheese. It's worth it, I promise.
9. Bake in a 435F oven for about 20 minutes, or until done. Then let cool, and chow down!