The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


wally's picture

Last week I tried Hamelman's fougasse with olives recipe for the first time and had a very happy outcome.

However, in attempting to move the bread onto parchment after scoring it, I nearly had disasterous results, since the scoring leaves it without any 'backbone.' So I resolved to do a bake today avoiding last week's hassles by allowing the fougasse to rise on parchment paper.

Trouble is, I was too clever by half in my approach (as the results of my niçoise olive fougasse below attest).

Here's what happened, and, in retrospect, how to avoid my mistake.

The fougasse (a bread of Provence) goes through three shapings after its bulk fermentation:

1- it's lightly shaped into a ball and allowed to bench rest for about 20 min.

2- it's rolled into an oval shape with a rolling pin and then allowed a final rise for about 60 minutes, and

3- picking up the dough, you then stretch it out to about 1 1/2 times its orginal length, and then fashion it into a triangle whose base is about 1/2 of its length. After that, it's scored and loaded for the bake.

My misstep occured in step #2. I lightly floured parchment paper, and then rolled the boule into an oval and allowed it to rise for an hour. Unfortunately, after an hour resting on the parchment, it effectively glued itself to the paper, which made step #3 impossible. In attempting to scrape it off onto a floured countertop, I severely degassed the dough. Ergo the very, very overbaked (shall we just say burnt) middle of the loaf.

With my second bake - a roasted garlic and anchovy loaf - I smartened up and in step #2, I rolled out the dough into an oval on a well-floured surface - not parchment paper. After the hour's rise, I was able to lift if off the countertop without degassing it, and then transferred it to the parchment paper, where I did the final shaping (#3).

You can see the quite different result below.

I get raves about the bread - it's a bit like pizza without the sauce. In fact, someone suggested that a marinara dipping sauce would be a good accompaniment.

I'm surely going to continue baking this. Hopefully, the lessons learned in this round will lead to trouble-free shaping next time!



wally's picture

Hamelman's Fougasse with Olives

August 15, 2009 - 11:38am -- wally

Having battered myself attempting to conquer (well...make peace with?) baguettes - hampered by still developing scoring techniques and an old gas oven that simply won't retain steam - this morning I decided to treat myself to something less daunting.  I've been looking at some of the flatbread recipes in Hamelman's Bread, and his fougasse recipe caught my interest.  It's simple and has a pleasing scoring pattern (no gringes, thank you very much).

leucadian's picture

My arteries can't take this

December 12, 2008 - 8:04pm -- leucadian

I came across this on the French Wikipedia: a loaf filled with gruyere, bacon lardons, and creme fraiche. I thought a fougasse was the flat bread with holes cut in it, but this is entirely different. It's from Foix, in the Pyrenees. Anyone dare to make it?


edh's picture


October 3, 2008 - 6:03am -- edh

Hi all,

Has anyone any advice to offer on fougasse? I've only had it a couple of times, at the Standard Baking Co. in Portland (Maine), but I occasionally find myself obsessing about it. They make one that is completely crusted in poppy seeds, sesame seeds and salt, and is the most amazingly decadent (and messy) thing to eat.

I've looked at Hamelman's recipe but haven't tried it yet because it didn't seem, well, over the top enough. His looks more like interestingly shaped regular bread.

Grey's picture

BBA Breads

April 7, 2008 - 6:46pm -- Grey

I got my copy of the BBA about two weeks ago, and it's been really great, I read through it in just two days and have started trying out various recipes and techniques, Here are some pics of the results, I have been very very happy with them all so far, and below are actually shots of my first attempts at each recipe :)


- Here is a Boule and a Tabatiere made with the Pain de Campagne recipe


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