Day Eight on the Advent Calendar: Christmas Trees and Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

 Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

Day Eight on the Advent Calendar:

8th December:

Snowy Christmas Tree

Snowy Christmas Tree

Christmas Trees and Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

Snowy Christmas Tree

Snowy Christmas Tree

It’s time to talk trees, Christmas trees…….real trees or faux trees, what’s you preference? I have always loved a real Christmas tree, and avalanches of needle drop have never really bothered me – the smell and “presence” of a real tree in our living room has taken on a mystical and magical feeling that changes the whole atmosphere of the home, and I would gladly accept that feeling for every single needle that I find lurking under a cushion or hidden beneath a carpet, and usually in the spring. But, I am very particular about living or real trees; they HAVE to be cut from a sustainable forest or wood, where another tree (or trees) is planted for every tree that is cut, or, they must have a viable root ball, so they can be planted back in the wild, or as often happens, in our back garden. The other kinds of trees I love at Christmastime, are the solitary garden trees, those trees that have been dressed with fairy lights or outdoor light bulbs……..their branches sway in the cold wind and they glow in the dark, beacons of impending warm cinnamon spice whilst proclaiming that the festive season is nearly upon us. In actual fact I am a bit of a “green lady” (opposite to the green man I suppose!) when it comes to this time of the year; slips of greenery and prickles of holly with crimson red berries are brought into the house and adorn my kitchen, as well as shiny copper pans, jelly moulds and an old collection of orange Le Creuset casserole dishes. There is something wonderful and wild, almost pagan and elemental about bringing greenery into the home – the earth may be as hard as iron, but life goes on through glossy green leaves and ripe berries…….

Holly in a Blue Vase

Holly in a Blue Vase

After venturing out this morning to dress one of my trees with lights, I brought Christmas back into the house by way of a large branch of holly; it is now nestled amongst pine cones in a large blue planter on my kitchen dresser, and is my first official Christmas decoration of the season, and not too early I feel, as it is the second Sunday on Advent tomorrow. And then it was a day of warmth, old Hovis tins and baking – a bread baking day; clouds of flour and the pervading scent of sweet yeast filled the air as I kneaded away at my old scrubbed pine table. It’s a cathartic occupation bread making, a way to think and ponder as fluffy dough rises or banish hurt and anger as dough is thrown about and kneaded with vigour……it’s a chore that never feels like a chore and I make bread at least twice a week, for the table as well as for my soul.

Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse  - second proving

Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse – second proving

Today’s bakery specials are my featured recipe, Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse, as well as Farmhouse White, Lincolnshire Plum Bread and some Mini Bread Loaves. I tend to start my dough off the night before, as I prefer a long slow prove, which results in a loaf of bread with better texture and flavour. I will be sharing all of the recipes, and my Lincolnshire Plum Bread has already been posted. Most of the bread is then frozen for the week ahead, unless I plan to have another bread making day soon, in which case they are all stashed away in an old enamel bread tin……in the cool of the pantry.

White Farmhouse and Lincolnshire Plum Bread Proving for the second time

White Farmhouse and Lincolnshire Plum Bread Proving for the second time

But back to my rustic artisan Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe; I adore this French flat bread, it’s like a pizza without the tomato sauce and excessive toppings, which, curiously enough I am not keen on in a pizza. It’s a firm favourite in our house and I often make about half a dozen to pop in the freezer for impromptu lunches and simple suppers. I have another recipe for Fougasse on the blog here: Fresh from the Oven, French Hearth Bread and Three Cheese Fougasse - a three cheese Fougasse, and just as tasty as my Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse recipe. If you have any of these classic French breads in your bread bin or freezer, you have the makings of a lovely meal, for any time of the day.

Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

I see these rustic breads being an invaluable bake to have tucked away over the festive period too, and they would make a great accompaniment to soups and stews, as well as a boiled egg or two for breakfast. The recipe I am sharing is very easy and do let me know if you make these, I would be happy to hear how they went down at your family table! I have to leave now, I have more greenery to bring in, candles to find and more lights to string up over the mantelpiece.  See you later with more recipes and ramblings…….have a wonderful weekend, and may all your weekends be filled with bread! Karen

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”
Robert Browning (1812-1889
 Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse

Serves 2 tp 3 fougasse
Prep time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 55 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Meal type Appetizer, Bread, Breakfast, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween
Region French
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
For a deliciously tasty bread, try these artisan style fougasse with garlic, bacon and cheese. Fougasse are rustic French flat breads and are absolutely delicious. Although a one hour proving is sufficient, an overnight proving gives these artisan breads a better taste and texture, and is convenient for early morning baking! Great for picnics, lunch boxes, breakfast, brunch, to accompany soups, stews, salads and casseroles. These also freeze very well.

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5g sachet of easy fast action yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 300ml water, tepid
  • 6 rashers smoked back bacon, roughly chopped (or 100g smoked lardons)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules (or 2 cloves garlic, finely crushed)
  • 100g Gruyere cheese, grated (or Cheddar cheese)

Note

For a deliciously tasty bread, try these artisan style fougasse with garlic, bacon and cheese. Fougasse are rustic French flat breads and are absolutely delicious. Although a one hour proving is sufficient, an overnight proving gives these artisan breads a better taste and texture, and is convenient for early morning baking! Great for picnics, lunch boxes, breakfast, brunch, to accompany soups, stews, salads and casseroles. These also freeze very well.

Directions

Step 1 Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water in a food processor. Blend to form a dough with a dough hook on low speed for 5 minutes and then on medium speed for 10 minutes. (Or knead by hand for at least 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.)
Step 2 Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large bowl and set aside to rest in a warm place for 1 hour, or in a cool place overnight - the overnight proving gives a better taste and texture.

Step 3 Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Grease and flour a large baking tray/sheet.
Step 4 Divide the dough into three or four even-sized portions and shape them into balls. Roll out each dough ball into a rough oval shape. Cut several slashes in each oval - one down the middle and three smaller ones to each side, see photos, and then brush with olive oil.
Step 5 Sprinkle with the garlic granules or fresh minced garlic, and then scatter the bacon over the top and then the cheese. Cover and allow to prove for a further 30 minutes.
Step 6 Place the fougasse on the greased baking sheets and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown and the bacon and cheese has melted and is cooked.
Step 7 Serve warm or cold.
 Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse Recipe

Victorian Mantle Decoration

Victorian Mantle Decoration

Are you a real tree lover or a lover of faux no-needle trees? 

Comments

  1. says

    I can only imagine how delicious your home smelled! How I wish I could reach through the computer screen and take a piece!!!

    I love my fake trees!!! LOL!!! I don’t like to still find pine needles in July! However, this year we are going real! Our fake one got destroyed in a basement flood! I love real greens outside and around the house!

    • says

      Thanks Mary! I love bread making days! I know that many people like fake trees and I can see why, however, I see you branching out this year (excuse the pun) and getting a real one…….so sorry to hear about your flood by the way. Karen

  2. says

    oh wow… I think we just had identical days… not only did we finish dressing our REAL tree today but I also baked bread… it wasn’t quite as delightful and flavourful as your wonderful Fougasse, which are just dying to be torn and eaten into… but it was tasty nonetheless… I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!

    • says

      Thanks! I have two versions, this one which is slightly easier, and the three cheese one that is shown as a link in my post…..both are delicious and both make great snacks for picnics etc. Karen

  3. says

    Love these tasty bread & fougasse! My hubby just bought a bread maker & now I can make this recipe of yours. I’m sure he’ll be trilled! Thanks for sharing your lovely recipes! :)

  4. Fiona Matters says

    Those look wonderful – so very pretty and it is of course tricky to go wrong with bacon and cheese!

  5. Alcro says

    Have just printed out the recipe for the Bacon, Cheese & Garlic Fougasse. Looking forward to giving them a try.
    I might even consider trying them with some rosemary and swea salt as a topping.

  6. Hollie Adlam says

    mmm this looks amazing!!! ‘Bookmarked’ i think i may have to make this, but in a different shape! xoxo

  7. Maya Russell says

    I’m not keen on pizza either, well shop bought ones anyway. I like the fact you can freeze this and bring them out for a quick meal.

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