This is my little contribution to the BREADBAKINGDAY Blog Event. Little, because it is not one of my own recipes but copied from my favorite bread baking book „Dough, Simple Contemporary Bread“ by Richard Bertinet, a Frenchman in England. Here is a picture of the German version:
The Fougasse that I made yesterday for this post did not turn out as pretty as the one on the cover, but for a book cover I would give it another try, and not just take take the first picture.
500 g white wheat flour (I took 300 dark + 200 white)
10 g fresh baking yeast
10 g salt (I usually take 12 to 14 g)
350 g water
200 g corn or wheat flour for dusting>
Preheat the oven to 250 degC.
Switch on the heating at least 30 minutes before baking.
Let the dough raise in a bowl for an hour, then move it on the well dusted working space, carefully flatten it out into a square shape, cut it in 2 rectangles, and the rectangles again into 3 small ones, to totally get 6 flat pieces.
Cut the pieces diagonally, close to the 2 corners, and place some other similar cuts as you like, and then widen the cuts carefully with fingers to get openings. Don’t worry too much about the final shape of the Fougasse, just do it! They can still be arranged/corrected a bit when you later place them onto the „baking shovel“ (excuse my terms, they may not be correct, as I am neither a pro baker nor is English my language), what I meant here was the thing used to transfer the dough piece ito the oven, i.e. what we in German literally call „to shoot in“ ;-)
There is no 2nd raising needed, just place each cut and opened piece onto the shovel and „shoot in“, onto a baking stone in the oven, if you have, and if you don’t, I strongly recommend you to get one. I use a rectangular flat and smooth slab of white marble, approx 15 mm thick, the size of the oven. This baking stone does miracles in the usual household oven, for any kind of bread, rolls or loafs, or pizza. At „shooting in“, spray the oven walls with water to get humidity, be quick for not losing heat and humidity. Reduce the heat to 230 degC and bake the Fougasse for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown.
The apprentice closely monitors the baking to catch the right moment for the correct color shade. Fougasse go very well with cold meat, cheese, sausages, salami, coppa, ham, etc., and don’t forget a good glass of apple juice – or wine.
Some may know the Fougasse as a large bread, not for serving individually to one person. Mine – or rather Richard Bertinet’s – are small, with 83 g flour only.
Here, in this baker’s window at Vallon Pont d’Arc in the Ardèche region, is a large Fougasse; compare it to the rolls at the right lower corner, or to the baker master’s size. ;-)