Fougasse (foo-gahss) is a traditional Provencal herbed bread, that is formed and slashed before baking to resemble a leaf- or tree-shape.
I used sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives for this recipe, along with rosemary. It makes wonderful, savory bread that's great to serve with soup, or as I've discovered, as a snack after slicing a piece in half and filling it with a few slices of cheese.
During my search for a recipe for fougasse, I came across many recipes that sounded so good, I may have to try them all! Some of the recipes included chorizo and thyme; onion and bacon; red onion and tomatoes; lemon and rosemary; gorgonzola and walnut; and dried cherry and pecan. So, you can see that this bread is extremely versatile... all you have to do is choose your favorite ingredients to make it your own.
I adapted this recipe from here and have made it twice in the last couple of weeks, learning as I went what worked and what didn't. As a result, I came up with some different ingredient quantities, as well as an easier way to incorporate the olives and tomatoes. The original recipe asks you to mix the olives and tomatoes into the dough using a stand mixer and dough hook. It doesn't work well and just ends up being a gloppy mess. So, I removed the dough to a floured mat and kneaded the dough by hand, adding the olives and tomatoes in the process.
The original recipe also calls for an overnight rise. Instead, I let the dough rise twice and proceeded to bake it the same day. I added some freshly ground black pepper to the recipe and ground dried rosemary into a powder (using an electric coffee mill) and added it to the flour. The black pepper added a little spice to the bread and since I wanted the rosemary flavor without the sharp spears of dried rosemary, grinding the herb did the trick.
This bread makes such a beautiful presentation. I just brought it to the table and guests tore off what they wanted. It'd be a nice bread to wrap up in some parchment to give as a gift, too.
I may have to make this again next week... the gorgonzola and walnut fougasse sounds just too good not to!