Making Bread and Flatbread Like they Do in the South of France
Southern France is renounced for many types of flatbread and bread that define this region. It has a very Mediterranean flavor that you won’t find with other bready similar to them. Here’s how you can make your own home versions using the genuine recipes.
- 1 Cup Warm water
- 4 Cups All-purpose baking flour
- 1 Tsp Active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp Table salt
- 4 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Cornmeal
- Tbsp Thyme
- Tbsp Rosemary (dried)
- Tbsp Basil
- Tbsp Ground savory (Optional)
Directions:Into a large mixing bowl add your water and 1-Tsp. of yeast until it dissolves into the water. Now you can add 1 cup of flour and then add your basil and thyme. You will add the remaining herbs later. After this, you mix the contents before adding the remaining flour, 1-cup at a time. Until you get a nice thick dough consistency. At this point, you take out the thickened dough and put it onto a surface to knead-it out. This must be powdered with flour so it doesn’t stick so easy. After this, you can roll the dough mix into a ball and place it inside an oiled bowl. Cover you ball with the oil so it gets an even coating. Now all you need to do is cover the dough and bowl with a kitchen towel and wait. This can take about 1-hour to double in size, depending on how warm your kitchen area is. After the first rise, you can take out the dough and cut it in half. This makes two equal loaves. Punch the dough down so it’s 1.5″ thick. Now you can shape it into an oval that looks like a leaf. Take a baking sheet and sprinkle the cornmeal on the baking sheet. Now place your dough onto the sheet and coat each with olive oil. At this point, you sprinkle the Ground savory and rosemary on top of each. You can take a knife and slash your pattern into the dough. It can be your own design but it should be cut through to the bottom of the dough. After this, you just cover the dough again and let it rise a second time. This will take only 20 minutes or so. Now you can start to preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Baking:Before adding your dough, spill some water onto the bottom of the oven. This helps to create steam. Take the towel off your dough and put it in the baking sheet. Cook the dough for 20 minutes until it gets golden brown. After it’s done you take out the bread and paint a layer of water to make the bread softer. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy.
Socca (French Chickpea Bread)
- 1 Cup Chickpea flour
- 1-1 Cups Water
- 4 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Tsp Salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Fresh-chopped onion
- Rosemary or thyme (optional)
Directions:Have a medium-size mixing bowl and add your chickpea flour. Slowly add the water and slowly whisk-it until it gets to be thick as heavy cream. Now you add your olive oil and salt and whisk that into the batter also. Now you let this mixture sit for at least 10 minutes. Add rosemary or thyme and also add your chopped onion for added taste. Now you take a pizza pan and lightly coat the bottom with olive oil. Use a paper towel so the layer is even and not pooling-up. Now you can preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. After this, you can give your chickpea mixture a final whisk to make sure it’s all mixed. You carefully pour a thin layer over the bottom of the pizza pan. Make sure it’s spread evenly.
Baking:This then goes into the oven and cooks for 10 minutes or until the surface is golden brown. To give this a decent baking, the baking rack should be placed not too high from the overhead heat source. Place this at least ¼ of the distance from the top of the oven. If it burns too quickly, move it down a rung or two. All ovens are different so you’ll need to experiment. Ideally, a pizza oven works best, but with an electric oven, you do need to make adjustments. After 10 minutes you take out the pizza tray and use a pizza cutter to make strips or triangles. Do this while it’s still warm on a cutting board. This way you can start the next batch. Now you can sprinkle the black pepper on top and serve on a plate. These work great as a snack by itself or is enjoyed with red wine. Alternatively, you can drink rosé wine that might fit better the flavor of the chickpeas. If you want to dip this into a fondue for cheese, little wedges work best for dipping. You might try mixing a seafood sauce that includes fish or shellfish. For those who are vegetarians, a fresh mix of chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, and onion (like Mediterranean salsa) is excellent instead.
· Pain de Provence (Herb French Bread)