Although the origins of this recipe came from Italy, the bread itself is a variation of Focaccia bread. While this version is more symbolic of the French, it's usually eaten at times of certain religious celebrations. This flatbread is iconic with the shape of a wheat stalk, a leaf, or a tree carved into the dough. Not only does it make this soft chewy bread more visually appealing, but it also tears apart easier. Here's how to make it yourself.
- 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)
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.
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.