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.