This month the Bread Baking Babes were all about shaping our loaves into leaves and ladders, as Elizabeth directed us to use our favorite bread dough for fougasse. These breads are shaped into flat-ish ovals and cut either before the final proof or just before baking. The payoff is maximal surface area (crust!) and something different for the table.

Fougasse often has cheese, herbs, or other additions in the dough or on top, but I kept it simple and used plain old (and by “plain old” I mean my very favorite) Norwich Sourdough. I cut my ovals after proofing (just before baking) with a small rigid plastic dough scraper. After baking I brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with Kosher salt. A nice accompaniment to early fall vegetable soup.

One word of caution: make sure you use plenty of cornmeal or semolina on the peel, like this, to ensure a smooth slide into the oven:

Skimp on the semolina, and your beautifully shaped fougasse

… sticks to the peel, and is now fubar. Oh well.

To participate in the fougasse fest, send your stuff to Elizabeth (details near the bottom of her post) by October 29. And of course the other Babes’ fougasses are must-sees (links toward the bottom of my right sidebar).

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    I think it looks wonderful anyway. :)

    I don’t have a peel, and I have never had much luck with the cornmeal thing for some reason. I form my breads on a piece of parchment paper, and they slide right onto the stone.

  2. says

    Ahhhhhhh such gorgeous crust! Nothing short of sublime. Plain ol … is a favorite of mine.
    I wish I had time to bake this again today … so I could pop it out of my bag on the plane to Michigan tomorrow!

  3. says

    Rrrm, yes. I should really have taken a photo of the before and after for one fougasse I made that changed from being a perfectly straight leaf into a wildly squashed and curved one.

    But the thing I love about fougasse is that it doesn’t matter if the original shape is lost.

    Gosia, I think your sourdough baguette dough would be perfect for fougasse. That’s essentially what Chad Robertson calls for in his fougasse recipe. I’ve used several different dough recipes to make fougasse. All have turned out brilliantly (if I do say so myself).

  4. says

    Like Astrid, I loved the way your fougasse turned out… to me, it seems to be a bit sleepy, yawning at you, begging to stay in the warm oven just a little longer ;-)

  5. JP says

    Parchment paper was my solution to the sticky dough problem. Mine had Asiago, pepperoni, and those dark black oil-cured olives. Laminated dough, too. Made it just before I got a houseful of guests/refugees from the hurricane.

  6. says

    Oh my goodness, it’s pretty AND it is made with Norwich. There ain’t no way that this can be wrong. ;)

    I may just have to get myself in gear and make my first Fougasse!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>