Fougasse Bake-Off

Let's get creative for August (gosh, are we into the 8th month already??) and make fougasse, sourdough, of course. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, you can basically make a batard, flatten it, and slit, then prove. If you do some googling, you'll see it comes in various open, holey, decorative shapes.  Here's something, baked by our missing Mick, to inspire you. As you can see, it doesn't only come plain, you can add cheese, nuts, herbs, bacon, and lots more.

Jump in!

TP



85 comments

This is cruel. It looks like you're offering me a bite but...aaarggh! That is one handsome fougasse...the zartar style topping looks really delicious. Is it a trade secret? I can see sesame seeds, and perhaps olive oil? cheese? spices, but what kind? Share if you can.

TP

You've got great teacher-baker-friends.


Zartar Spice


I looked up 'zartar' (zatar/zartar/zahtar/zaatar) spice in google and ground together basic ingredients that could be found in our (small) supermarket. Here is the recipe that I found: http://peertrainer.com/CS/blogs/pats_blog/archive/2006/04/23/320.aspx

Sumac is the major ingredient but we could not find it in our supermarket, so instead I used tumeric. My sesame seeds were not toasted so I guess this was barely zartar at all! But it tasted excellent and I enhanced mine with coriander seeds crushed into the mix. Finally I sprinkled crushed grey sea salt (i do not like whole rock salt...hurts my teeth) on top of the fougasse, and that set the zartar flavours off nicely.

Yes, olive oil on first, but no cheese.


If you're in Oz and you need to purchase top-grade spice mixes, can I recommend Herbie's Spices.  They do a great mailorder, but if you're ever in Sydney, their little shop in Rozelle is an absolute treasure to visit.  Our fave spice mix of theirs is the chermoula - it's pretty much our "house blend". 

www.herbies.com.au

Grae, great looking fougasse, the tumeric gives it a lovely hue.  Sumac is pink from memory, so it would have been very different! :)





I've spent too much time coming back again and again to look at all these gorgeous fougasse, imagining the tastes and textures.

TP
..in the midst of making baos with 2 different flours and wholemeal pizzas.



Rob Booth gives a great demo of how to make a traditional Fougasse. Filmed at the Ekka Royal Show NBIA Bakery / ABA Gathering, August 10, 2008.


Fougasse is French so the correct pronunciation has the emphasis on the second syllable, along the lines of fou-GAHS.  Never mind, I consistently get the pronunciation of dulce de leche wrong, sort of adding an "h" to the dulce.  It should be dool-say.  Heck, English is my language, but French is right up there, as I live in the Province of Quebec and my last name is French.

PaddyL


NOT! Unless you're Rob Booth. Thanks, guys, for doing the video.

TP

p.s. The site seems to be having bouts of inaccessibility of late, eh?



Rob Booth is a real baker, and I'm not, because... I can't use my forearms to flatten dough!  I tried, and now I need a shower, plus I kept bashing my wrist on the table.  It was fun, though.. :)

Another batch today, had fun with the shaping.

This one is my flower power fougasse (thanks for the inspiration, Duane and Dom), topped with oil, dried Italian herbs and Murray River pink salt:




This one I tried to write the word "HI", but it went a bit skewwhiff.  It's topped with oil, a salt and pepper squid mix and tastes a bit pretzel-like.




And this one came out a bit like a prehistoric fish skeleton. It's topped with oil and Malden salt.





You're an artist (and an incredibly creative baker), Celia!!

With our day time temperatures hitting 33°C, I finally have to say it's too hot to bake. I need an air-con in the kitchen!

Cheers
TP


Celia I hadn't thought about doing a flower but yours sure looks great.  I'll bet we have only just started exploring the wild and crazy designs that we can make with this bread.  I feel an artistic momment coming on.

Graham thanks for the video it was very helpful.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 

Celia - beautiful breads - I love the flower!

here is my weekend's fougasse, a poppyseed sourdough fougasse made with rye starter - to be eaten with minestrone at lunch


cheers
Dom


Sounds absolutely delicious, Dom! You are all so inspiring.


Dom, I love the shape of your fougasse. Graham saw it and said something along the lines of 'I think that's the most practical fougasse I've seen yet, it's easy to break off and share.'

Maedi

I love the shape too, Dom!  They remind me of Jenny Kee's glasses (Oz designer from the 1980s).. :)



Thanks Celia, Maedi,

the shape comes from Hamelman's 'Bread'.
It was very easy to break up and share with soup for lunch yesterday!

cheers
Dom


I really liked the idea of the cuts from my first Fougasse so I tried it again.  The first one I had trouble handling the dough but this time it was very simple.  The holes looked great and they didn't try to close up as the bread was doing its final rise.  The narrow part of the holes do close up in the oven from the oven spring so this is about as good as this one is going to get for me.  The size of my Fougasse is about the same size as my Pizza Stone so I can't stretch  it out any more.  Next time I'm going to try making two by cutting the dough in half.  Here is the latest picture.  Next time I'll try a different design or two.

[img]http://djardine.mooo.com/albums/Bread/P8170875.JPG[/img]

By the way this bake off is a lot of fun I'm really enjoying it.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 


Very cool, Duane, and very even - like spokes on a wheel !!  Bake offs are fun (thanks TP!!).  What do you have on the top of your fougasse?



Looking forward to other LD-designs...

Aww...glad you guys enjoy the bake-offs as much as I. These bake-offs would only fall flat (much flatter than flatbreads) if not for all your enthusiastic participation. THANK YOU!

TP, off to open a thread for bake-off suggestions.


Celia I don't know what is on top of the bread.  My neighbor asked me if I wanted to try some of her bread seasoning mix on my breads and gave me a small bag of it.  The mix is very nice on the fougasse.  I'll see if she will tell me what she puts in it.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 

of simple but elegant looking bread, nice work. I've been watching this thread develop into a kaleidoscope of examples.

You're very kind, Boris, but where's your bread? :)

All these bake-offs started because you and Jezza were having a go at us "sheilas", and yet I haven't seen a whole lot of contribution from either of you.  Does that mean you're both conceding that the "kitchen rebel sheilas" rule over the "number crunchers" ?

:D



This was an experiment as the only orange flower water I could find had some nasty ingredients.



I rubbed butter into the flour, added a good dollop of honey and some pomegranate molasses. There was a slightly sweet scented flavour to the bread that really came out when it was toasted. After getting used to the strange taste I decided that I didn't like it. Next time I will try a different flavour.

This second picture is the best fougasse I have baked. I took it with me to some friends house for lunch and everyone was delighted with it.



I put olives, cheese, toasted pine nuts and smoked ham in the dough. I cut shaped the loaf, let it prove for an hour then put it in the fridge over night to bake off in the morning. The cuts stayed open over night and the bread was a lot lighter than the ones I had cut just before they went in the oven.


and,

Way to go, Joe! Reading the list of goodies inside your 2nd fougasse is making me really hungry.

First I've heard of pomegranate molasses. And, adding orange blossom water...would never have thought of that. You have all opened up a whole new (and brave) world of possibilities for me. Thanks!

TP

 


Sourdom mentioned orange flower water and got me interested in the idea of sweet scented breads. When I get the time I will experiment some more. The only orange flower water I could get locally contained propylene glycol which I wasn't to keen on.

Pomegranate molasses is great stuff with a flavour that really intrigues me. I didn't like the results with putting it in the bread dough but it could be interesting in a glaze. It goes really well with lamb, or for something unusual pored on top of vanilla ice cream.

Here is quite a good write up http://uktv.co.uk/food/ingredient/aid/508819



Not at all, Celia. I speak the truth.

I've just been a little busy with other things, etc. But don't let that fool you into thinking I concede anything ......   :)

Keep up the good work.... Oh, and BTW your spelt bread without gluten added is a better example of baking skill than when gluten is added.

[quote=celia]
You're very kind, Boris, but where's your bread? :)

All these bake-offs started because you and Jezza were having a go at us "sheilas", and yet I haven't seen a whole lot of contribution from either of you.  Does that mean you're both conceding that the "kitchen rebel sheilas" rule over the "number crunchers" ?

:D
[/quote]

Yes, Boris, you're right, and I appreciate the gentle nudge I got from all of you in that direction.  Teep is right, and that really IS the good thing about these bake-offs, we learn to hone our skills.

But I'm still looking forward to seeing your breads! I hope you get to join in soon...  :D




GORGEOUS bread, Joe!  I love the "pizza" filling. 

My tribe asked a few days ago - "do we have to have fougasse again?"  :D

I told them it was only a few more days left in the month, and then we'd see what Auntie TP thinks of for September...

:D



[quote=celia]
I told them it was only a few more days left in the month, and then we'd see what Auntie TP thinks of for September...

:D
[/quote]

Celia, why don't you ask your tribe to dip into the list bag and voila! that will be the bake-off for September.

TP 


Probably my last contribution to this bake-off

Olive and rosemary fougasse

cheers
Dom


Last fougasse for a while.  I used the same dough as my other fougasse but I thought I would sprinkle some Almond Meal on top of this one.

[img]http://djardine.mooo.com/albums/Bread/P8240876.JPG[/img]

It really tastes great.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 


Dom, bigger pix, please. Who's keeping the fougasse company? Such a sweet pair.

Hey, LD! Another creative fougasse design from you. Wonderful!

Whenever you guys feel like making more fougasse after this bout, remember to add on in this thread, ok?

Hint about the next bake-off: I'm going a-hunting for a stone...;)

TP


[quote=TeckPoh]

Hey, LD! Another creative fougasse design from you. Wonderful!


Hint about the next bake-off: I'm going a-hunting for a stone...;)

TP[/quote]

Thanks TP the designs just come to me but I'm afraid I don't have enough time to bake them all.

I cook all of my bread on a pizza stone but I get the feeling that isn't what you had in mind.  I'm a dumb dog so you will just have to come out and tell me what you are thinking about.  A few more days of waiting won't hurt me either.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 


LOL! It should have occurred to me that almost everyone (except me) bakes on stones! I used to have a tile, but it cracked. Believe me, it wasn't easy, but, I've finally found a place selling pizza stones in backwaters M'sia, but, my (thrifty) other half said no. At an equivalent of US$30 (after sales discount), it was too expensive to have a crack (literally) at it, since I've read that these fellas do crack. He's on a mission to look for unglazed tiles. I give him one week....need it for the new bake-off. *wink* Wish me, or rather, him, luck!

TP

p.s. Ideas, like dreams, need to be caught and written down, or they'll be lost....so, LD, you should draw those designs in a diary or something.


TP, I see that you are doing the next bake off so that you can get a pizza stone.  It will be worth it.

The designs are already down in ink.  That is what happens when art and bread making blend together.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 

Dear BreadArtist

Shhh...indeed, the bake-off is the [s]excuse[/s] reason for getting a stone. But, it's a win-win thing...better breads for all, what?

TP