The reknowned gourmande Rabelais (a local boy) describes them as being made from water, egg yolks, saffron and spices (which I guess is why they are available as takeaways at the Foire au Safran in Preuilly). I decided to try my hand at making them, but none of the recipes I found looked terribly authentic, or they were for a sweet version more like brioche. Therefore, I decided to create my own not terribly authentic recipe, as that seemed to be the tradition, with every family having their own variation.
Homemade fouaces fourrées.Ingredients:
For the Dough
500g flour (I used organic stoneground Type 65 farine de blé from la Ferme des Hauts Bourdiers, Nouans-les-Fontaines)
1 tsp salt
200g refreshed sourdough starter*
For Stuffing Option 1
6 slow roasted tomato halves
3 slices from a goat cheese log, cut into semi-circles (I used Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, purchased from my mobile laitiere)
(or you can use Délice de tomates from a jar you bought in the supermarket and some cheese)
For Stuffing Option 2
1/2 an aubergine, cut lengthways.
1/2 tsp ras al hanout
(or you can use baba ganoush if you've got some lurking in the fridge you want to use up)
- Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and combine.
- Cut the butter into cubes and combine with the flour, using the cake beater attachment of your mixer.
- Add the sourdough starter and beat some more.
- Gradually add the water and beat for 10 minutes on the slowest speed (this is to begin developing the gluten, like kneading does).
- Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge overnight to rise slowly.
- Meanwhile, prepare the aubergine by scoring it in a diaper pattern all over, down to the skin.
- Paint it lightly with oil and roast it in the oven at 200C for 25 minutes.
- When it is soft and cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh and mix in the spice.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured bench and knead it a bit by hand to knock the air out.
- Divide the dough into 12 lumps and roll them into balls.
- Take each ball and roll it out into an oval 15-20 cm across.
- Put either a piece of tomato and a semi-circle of cheese, or a teaspoon of aubergine puree onto one half of each oval.
- Fold the dough over and press to seal and flatten.
- Heat a heavy frying pan to moderately hot and brush with oil.
- Place a couple of the fouaces in at a time. Cook them for 3-4 minutes each side, until they are just beginning to blacken.
- Serve warm.
*for instructions on how to make a sourdough starter see here. Alternatively, if you have been given a Herman starter, this works perfectly well, and is in fact what I used.
For a recipe that looks a lot like the street food ones I have had stuffed with rillettes, see here (in French). I only found this after making my own rather different, but still practical and tasty, version.