Chocolate and dried cherry fougasse

When we made a more traditional savory fougasse a few years ago, really enjoyed it. This version has been at the back of my mind since I opened the cookbook.

I enjoy baking bread, so I thought it would be a fun challenge. Like David, I love dried cherries. Chocolate of course, is nice. I swapped toasted pecans for the hazelnuts since that’s what was on hand. And of course there was orange zest that really brightens the other flavors.

This bread uses a more old-fashioned method of starting the yeast with flour and water, plus a bit of sugar, then allowing that to rest for 15 minutes.

The remainder of the flour and a bit of salt are added and the dough gets kneaded before adding the flavorings.

The flavorings get added, but I thought it needed a bit more kneading, so did a few turns by hand. Then the dough rests and rises. My house was a little chilly when I made this, and with all of the additions this didn’t rise until really fluffy.

Once risen, it gets rolled into its iconic leaf shape. Then rises again. Before putting in the oven, a little more olive oil and some gray salt.

The fougasse gets baked until golden.

So. The results? When we first tried this, kind of mixed. Intriguing, but not a favorite. Were told to eat it right after baking, but I took what was left to my book club the following day. I liked it better. My friends liked it! I sent the rest home with them.

I still love the savory version. But I may have to try this again sometime. Maybe a tweak. Maybe not. The texture might have been better if I’d had time to let it rise longer.

But this was very fun to make!! Excited to see what others thought about their breads.

8 thoughts on “Chocolate and dried cherry fougasse

  1. This was an adventure, no ? I was following my moms prep and it had a lot of steps to it, even if not “active time”…it was a bit of a production. We all liked the cherry, chocolate and nut combo (what’s not to like lol) but also came away thinking how much we had enjoyed the savory version. All good though, great process pics and beautiful loaf !

    • I am too. I think the initial take was just a surprise. Or maybe my “pairing” was off. I shared the rest, but would have happily eaten it. It was to my friend that got me into blogging, and (before marriage and kids) was an amazing baker (still a fabulous cook), she was excited for a treat. Can’t say no to that!!!

  2. It looks delicious! I couldn’t actually taste the orange, but I’ll admit I used some dried peel I made from the first of the season’s clementines. Probably not as much oils as fresh. I thought this was really fun, but like the rest of us, I’d like to revisit the savory version. Nor’easter here brought lots of rain and wind plus a nighttime dusting of snow that was gone by morning. We’re enough inland the flooding wasn’t an issue. Overall it seems like it was worse further south.

  3. I had a similar reaction to this – I think the flavors need some tweaking for my taste. I sent most of it with my husband to feed his coworkers and it sounds like it was a hit with them.

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