BM# 75: A-Z Bake Around the World: Day 6
Bake of the Day: F for Fougasse
Today I have a French bread called Fougasse for the letter F. It is a flatbread typically associated with Provence but found with variations in other regions. This bread has been on my to-bake list for a very long time and I finally got to bake it for the mega marathon.
Traditionally the Provence version is packed with olives, cheese or anchovies. It can be considered as a basic tomato-less pizza. I even saw some dessert versions of fougasse with chopped chocolate and marshmallow — that is now on my list to try (hopefully I can get to make it soon enough).
Fougasse is dense, chewy and very flavorful French bread that can be served just as is or dipped in olive oil for an extra special treat. I used the recipe from King Arthur Flour site. The recipe starts with a poolish aka starter the night before the bread is made. In the morning the poolish is mixed and kneaded with more flour and yeast. After the first rise, the fillings are folded into the dough and then shaped into the ladder shaped flatbread. The choice of fillings is endless — you could go classic with olives and rosemary or get creative, like blue cheese and walnut or the one I made — pesto, cheese and sundried tomatoes. Like I said before sweet fillings are also great here.The intricate shaping of this bread makes for a pretty presentation for the table. A loaf would be a lovely hostess gift or to bring to a potluck. Since there’s lot of surface area, it is quite crusty on the outside and chewy and delicious inside. It is best to serve on the day it is baked, but the leftovers can be well wrapped and stored for 2 days — I would probably warm the bread before serving.Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75.
Sundried Tomato & Cheese Fougasse
For the Poolish (Starter):
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup Egg Replacer (whisked in 3tbsp water)
- 1/8 tsp Instant Yeast
For the Dough:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup Wholewheat flour
- ½ cup water
- 2 tsp Instant Yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the filling:
- 3 tbsp Sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- ½ cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
- ¼ cup Prepared Pesto
Make the Poolish (Starter):
- Combine the flour, water and yeast in a bowl. Cover and set aside to rest overnight.
Make the Dough:
- Add the ½cup water and flours to the poolish, mix well until combined, cover the bowl and let the mixture rest for 20 minutes.
- Add the yeast, salt and olive oil; knead the dough until a smooth dough forms, about 3 minutes in the stand mixer or 5 minutes by hand.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise for 45 minutes. Gently deflate the dough, turn it over and let rise for another 45 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half. Lightly flour the work surface and work with one piece at a time. Cover the other one to keep it from drying out.
- Pat the dough into a rectangle. Spread pesto on one side of the rectangle and top it with chopped sundried tomatoes and cheese. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal.
- Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough into an oval shape about 10" long. Place the loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover it with plastic wrap and set aside for 40 minutes. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- When the loaves are puffy, take a sharp knife and cut 3 parallel slashes across and all the way through the center of the dough. Pull the dough apart to form a ladder shape.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Mist the surface of the loaf with water and put it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until they start to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Serve right away or store wrapped tightly at room temperature for up to 3 days.