Modern Baker Challenge – Fougasse: Pierced French Flatbread

For some odd reason, I decided to return to baking on the first weekend of summer, which means here in the RV it was past 90.  Actually, there’s a good reason for the delayed return in that I have been out of town or with guests for the past 4 weekends and since the current chapter includes yeast I don’t have the time or energy to start a project after work.  And so, this weekend, the first in a while and the last in a while, I had some time to bake.

For pity’s sake, I’ll add this was my apartment’s temperature:

The temperature nearly reaches 90.

And yes, I do have air conditioning, but I have this Spartan side that wants to make it without the A/C — to see how long I can last into the triple digit summer and to keep the energy costs low (more for my budget than the environment, I’m afraid).

The bread was not very difficult, and really it required very little kneading but a lot of waiting and staring. I haven’t made a yeast bread in a very long time for various reasons (impatience, laziness…), so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But, I did my very best to follow the instructions, starting with measuring the water temperature and leveling off the flour.

lukewarm water of about 110

As an FYI, the yeast packets I had required two to meet the ingredients rather than the 1.5 as suggested.  The 1 to 2 hour rising period was on the shorter end of the spectrum, probably because my apartment was so warm.  Everything seemed to go as planned except that I forgot to brush the triangular dough with olive oil just prior to the last rising.  I can’t tell if it made a difference or not.

I was a little concerned that I wasn't able to beat in all the flour but the end result was still decent.

After only an hour, the dough doubled in bulk, possibly because of the conducively warm apartment temp.

What's the purpose of the triangle?

Finished!

Ready salad or soup!

I’m not exactly sure what the point is for this bread.  It looks like focaccia but doesn’t have the loveliness of the olive oil.  Why not just go for basic french bread?  Or perhaps the “basic french bread” requires more work?  If I were to make this again, I’d likely season it up a bit more as Maglieri suggests with the olives or maybe some rosemary?  I ended up with a lot of bread for just myself.  While it did inspire me to make a big pot of black bean & pumpkin soup the next day, there was even too much for this carb lover to enjoy.  I was at the beginning of researching panzanella for the leftovers but a co-workers said, “Oh!  I love bread!” and I responded “Oh! I’d love to give you some.”

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4 thoughts on “Modern Baker Challenge – Fougasse: Pierced French Flatbread

  1. Looks great! I guess it’s time to jump into the breads section. I baked the Armenian bread a while ago, but like you my weekends have been busy, so I haven’t had a chance to do anything more.

  2. I baked my Proscuitto bread but will post later in the week as I am still trying to get in my last 2 quick breads here by the end of June…today…yikes, one is in the oven, and one has yet to be even started. This bread of yours looks interesting and I am so excited to make it as I have heard about it for so long and never gotten to taste it, etc. I love the look of your loaves.

  3. I suppose the shape is just traditional to wherever the fougasse was invented. I think the shape is kind of cool though!

    For workweeks you can make the bread in the evening and let it rise overnight in the fridge.

  4. I liked that this one was so fast, but I totally agree with you: it calls for some sort of doctoring up, olive oil, spices, cheese, etc! Yours baked to such a pretty color . . . . .

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