When creating a Winter Soup Bar, setting out a variety of crackers and breads is a great compliment to the food, plus they also serve as wonderful decoration. I like to include a few essentials like French bread and lightly seasoned croutons, and then a few special ones that have a bit more texture to add interest and color. One of my favorite recipes is this Walnut & Rosemary Fougasse. It’s full of flavor and the leaf shape is beautiful. And just in case you are wondering, whipped butter with brown sugar and honey goes well with it too (also pictured above). Yum!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 3/4 tsp rapid-rise dried yeast
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk, scalded then cooled for 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves roughly chopped
- In a bowl, mix 3 cups of flour, yeast, salt and ½ cup walnuts. Pour in milk and 2 tablespoons of oil and mix until a ball of dough is formed. Knead for 5 minutes and using flour only when needed to keep dough from sticking. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes.
- Uncover, knead for another 5 minutes, coat the bowl with 2 more tablespoons of oil, cover and let it rise for 40 minutes. Repeat this step twice; the dough will double in size.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form a long rectangle. Fold the ends in like a letter where it overlaps in the middle. Place seam side down and let it rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place a baking sheet on the lowest rack.
- Divide the dough into four pieces and create each into a leaf shape (about a ¼” thick), then cutting a leaf pattern into the dough. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and stretch the dough so the cut pattern is more prominent. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and remaining walnuts; let it rise for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.