The prefou is a traditional bread from the Vendée region of France.
It was created by bakers in the former commune of Fontaines near Fontenay Le Compte who did not have thermostat-controlled ovens. It was said that to test the heat of their ovens, the bakers would place a piece of dough on a heated tile. The baking of the dough allowed them to estimate the temperature of the oven and send in their traditional round of breads. Rather than throwing away this ball of white bread, it was garnished with garlic and salted butter and then shared among bakery workers as a snack.
Traditional Vendée prefou
For the bread
- 300 g of flour
- 20 cl warm water
- 1 sachet of baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
For the garlic butter
- 100 g of semi-salted butter
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 pinch of pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Peel and chop the garlic cloves and mix with the softened butter.
- Add a pinch of pepper.
If using pre-baked bread
- Cut the bread in half lengthways.
- Spread the garlic butter on top of the bread and cut it into small slices.
- Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the bread is golden brown.
If making homemade bread
- Mix all the ingredients and knead the dough in a bread machine or by hand.
- Let the dough rise for about an hour.
- Arrange the dough in the shape of a baguette on baking paper. Bake for 20 minutes at 180C.
- Take the bread out and let it cool, then cut it in half lengthwise.
- Top the bread with the butter and cut it into small slices.
- Return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the bread is golden brown.
- Serve while it’s hot