Bastille Bread Fougasse
 Recipe Source

Author: Bob and Robin Young

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July 14, 1983 is our Wedding Day. It is also the French Holiday, Bastille Day. This makes a good Anniversary Bread.

July 14th is the French national holiday, la Fte du 14 juillet. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, an open act of rebellion against the monarchy that is considered a turning point of the French Revolution. Two days after the storming of the Bastille, the king officially recognized the tricolor flag--the blue, white and red said to symbolize liberty, equality and brotherhood.
1 c    Warm, water (110F)  
1 T    Dry Active Yeast  
4 c    All-Purpose Flour  
  Basil, dried  
  Savory, dried and ground  
  Thyme, dried  
  Rosemary, dried  
1 Tbs    Salt  
4 T    Olive Oil  
2 T    Cornmeal  
1 Pour water into a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast into water, and let it stand undisturbed until dissolved. Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon herbs, sea salt, and 2 tablespoons oil until well blended. Mix in the flour, 1 cup at a time until a thick and somewhat sticky dough forms.
2 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, and place into an oiled bowl. Flip the dough to coat the surface. Cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel, and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
3 Punch dough down, and divide in half. Shape into an irregular ovals, about 1 inch thick. Sprinkle cornmeal over 2 baking sheets; transfer dough to pans. Brush each loaf with olive oil, and sprinkle the remaining herbs on top. Make several slashes in the bread, cutting through the dough with a knife. Cover the loaves with clean dishtowels. Let rise again until the dough begins to rise again, about 20 minutes.
4 Place baking sheets into a preheated 450F (220C) oven. Quickly splash a small amount of water onto the floor of your oven to create steam, and close the oven door. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
Servings: 20
Preparation time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours
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