French Préfou

This is a recipe for a french dish, the préfou, usually eaten as an appetizer or as a side dish (with meats).
This specialty from the Vendée department is a pretty simple, cheap, and tasteful dish. It comes from the ancient bakers who tested their wood oven for good temperature by placing some bread dough in it. They would not trash it once baked, but eat it with butter and garlic, while still hot.

While traditionally garnished with butter and garlic, one can use dried tomatoes, herbs, slices of sausages...

Ingredients :

For the bread

  • 125g/4.5oz flour
  • 8cl/0.33cup water
  • 10g/0.35oz butter
  • 1 spoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5g/0.17oz baking powder

For the garnish

  • 50g/1.75oz salted soft butter
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped fresh parsley

Step 1: Recipe

For the bread, mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together, then add melted butter. Once done, add slowly the water while kneading the dough until having a smooth and elastic ball.

Let the dough rise for 1 or 2 hours (at room temperature), then degas it by kneading it some more. This will prevent too big bubbles to appear in the bread.

Let it rest for 30 minutes, then bake it at 200° for 15 min; be careful to not let it take some colors, the bread has to stay white. Once baked, cut it open longitudinally.

Before the bread has cooled down, make the garnish, by simply chopping the parsley and garlic, and mixing them to the butter so that it becomes creamy. Then spread the garnish on both faces of the bread and slice it.

This bread is far better when hot, so put it back in the oven if it has cooled down too much. You can keep it in fridge for 3 or 4 days if you want.

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