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Fougasse


What is Fougasse you ask? It is a French flat bread that I would say is in the focaccia family.

Herbed Fougasse (Adapted from Art & Soul of Baking)

Biga:

1/2 c warm water
1/4 t yeast
1 c bread flour
pinch of sugar

In a bowl mix the water, yeast, and sugar together and let sit until bubbly. Mix in flour. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and let sit at room temperature 4-6 hours (or up to 12), or refrigerate 24 hours. (If refrigerated, let dough sit out for about 30 minutes before continuing).
This is a slightly over proofed - I did not heed the refrigeration advice
 Dough:
1/2 c warm water
1/2 t yeast
2 T olive oil
1 1/4 c bread flour
1 1/2 t Rosemary
1 t thyme
1t salt

Topping:
1 T olive oil
1 t Kosher salt
2 t Rosemary & Thyme

In a mixer, pour water and yeast and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Add the biga and olive oil. Mix Add flour, rosemary, thyme, and salt. Knead until dough comes together. Cover with a towel and let rest 20 minutes. Turn mixer on and continue to knead until firm, elastic, and smooth. Dough should be a little sticky but you might need to add additional flour (only a little!).

Place in oiled bowl and let dough rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours). Turn the dough out on a floured board and GENTLY press to let the air out. Transfer dough to baking sheet lined with parchment. Press the dough into a large 12" x 11" circle with the 11" part towards the bottom. It should be about 3/8" thick.

Let the dough rest 15 minutes. With a very sharp knife (or sharp scissors), cut a center slit and three slits on either side. Each should go all the way through the dough. Gently stretch the dough so the cut edges are about 1 1/2" apart. Cover and let rise until almost doubled (about 30-40 minutes). Preheat oven and baking stone to 425.

Dimple the dough gently. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and salt. Slide dough from baking sheet onto a baking stone in a 425 oven. If you don't have a baking stone, you can just bake it on the baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes (internal temperature 200). Transfer to rack to cool.
This is what it looks like if you don't spread it when you cut it
Pre-bake if you spread the dough

Post-bake if you spread the dough


This may look like a daunting recipe, but it really isn't. There is a lot of waiting around - you can go do a load of laundry while you're waiting. I think I actually preferred the unspread dough even though the spread is the more authentic.

It is best on the day it is made - second day at most. Don't worry you won't have too much of a problem finishing it off. I single-handedly finished off half of it in less than half a day.

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