Fougasse {ModBak}

The fourth recipe in the Breads section of the Modern Baker Challenge is Fougasse, or pierced French flatbread. As with the other flatbreads in this section, this recipe contains yeast; so even though it is a flatbread, it still rises fairly well. This bread is shaped into a triangle, or leaf shape, and slashed through in several places. This has the effect of increasing the amount of crust, making this a great bread to serve with a stew or other saucy meal.

Like most of the other flatbreads in this section, the ingredients list for Fougasse is fairly short — flour, salt, yeast, water, and olive oil. The ingredients are mixed briefly, allowed to rest, then folded a few times, before being set aside to ferment for an hour or two.

After the bulk ferment, the dough is divided, and each piece is shaped into a triangle. The recipe says to shape the dough on your work surface, then move it to the pan. I shaped mine directly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

After shaping the dough, I slit it with a pizza wheel.

I let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then stretched it a few inches in each direction to elongate the slits.

I then oiled the dough and set it aside to proof for an hour.

While the dough was proofing, I preheated the oven to 450° F. The Fougasse only took about 20 minutes to bake and came out puffy and golden.

This bread was crusty and delicious, and, contrary to what Nick says, wonderful with a smear of butter.

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