Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Bread

I love the cookbook (and web site) Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

The Roasted Red Pepper Fougasse is my favorite recipe from it so far.

Preheat the oven to 450F for at least 20 to 30 minutes, with a baking stone and a broiler tray in place to catch water for steam later.

Roast a red pepper or do what I did and open a jar of them.

Roll out one pound of any dough you like, to 1/8-inch (I used the Olive Oil Dough from the book). I’d generally use a non-enriched dough here (no eggs or fat in the dough mix). Try to form an oval or rectangle. Assemble right on a liberally flour-dusted pizza peel or on parchment paper for an easier slide into the oven.

Slit one side and lay out the peppers on the other side (with their outer, peeled surface facing up).

Sprinkle with thyme and coarse salt to taste. The salt is crucial to bring out the flavor of the roasted peppers. Use a pastry brush to paint a little water around the edges to help make a good seal.

Fold the slitted half over the peppers and crimp it to the dampened side. If the edges don’t meet nicely, just trim off the extra with kitchen shears.

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with more thyme.

If you’re not using parchment paper, make sure that the fougasse is moving well on the pizza peel; if not, nudge some additional flour underneath using a spatula.

Slide the fougasse onto the hot stone. Quickly add 1 cup of hot water to the broiler tray and close the oven door. Bake at 450 F for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. If you rolled the dough thicker than 1/8-inch, it will need more baking to develop nice color and prevent an over-moist interior crumb next to the peppers.

Makes a beautiful appetizer!

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