Fougasse Vigneronne

Fougasse Vigneronne

Makes 8 good-sized bread servings

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (measured by spooning the flour into dry-measure cups and leveling off the tops), plus a little more if necessary

7 tablespoons rye flour (I use medium rye flour)

3/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 scant tablespoon of yeast (active dry yeast or instant yeast or bread machine yeast)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon olive oil (plus extra for oiling the bowl, the pan, and the bread dough)

1 teaspoon salt

12 seedless red grapes, cut in half

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Note:  If you’re using the active dry yeast from the packet, stir the yeast into the warm water with the sugar and let dissolve for about five minutes, it will start to puff a little.  If you’re using instant or bread machine yeast, you can mix it in with the dry ingredients, these are the directions below.

Put the all-purpose flour, the rye flour, and the sugar, salt, and yeast into the food processor and blend for 10 seconds to combine.  Pour in the water, the olive oil and the red wine, and process until the mixture makes a ball that travels around the food processor bowl and cleans the sides.  If it won’t come together, add another tablespoon of water.  Stop the processor and feel the dough.  If it feels more than just a little sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour and process until it’s mixed in.

Lightly grease a medium-sized bowl with olive oil and scrape the dough ball into the bowl.  Turn it over to coat the dough with a little oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Put the bowl in a warm place (like the top of a radiator with a towel underneath the bowl, or on a heating pad set on low) and let it rise until it’s nearly doubled, about 40 minutes.  It will take longer if the temperature isn’t warm enough, but it will still rise.

When the dough has doubled, start heating the oven to 425 degrees F.  Brush a baking sheet with some olive oil, then punch down the dough and spread and pat it out into an oval shape on the oiled pan with your hands.  Make 4 diagonal cuts all the way through the dough starting at the center, two to the right and two to the left, alternating right and left and going nearly to the edge of the dough.  They should look like veins in a leaf.  Using your hands, pull the dough gently to enlarge the openings.  Lightly brush the dough with olive oil, then press the grapes into the fougasse, cut side down, and then press the walnut pieces in as well.

When the oven is heated, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fougasse is lightly browned on top.  Let it cool for a half hour, then serve.

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