Sunday, September 03, 2006

Climbing the Ladder

Fougasse is a flatbread traditionally associated with Provence in southeastern France. Also known as the french version of the italian foccacia, fougasse is usually sculpted to form a leaf- or ladder-shaped loaf, making it easy to pull apart for a quick bite.

I used the Pain de Campagne(meaning country bread) recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice to give a go at shaping fougasse. According to BBA, this is the perfect dough for creative shaping. Before forming the fougasse, I had to first shape the dough into a batard, let it rise for about an hour, then flatten it into a leaf shape and cut the slits, just before baking.

It was a 'pain' to flatten the proofed batard, because I could see my rolling pin popping those precious big bubbles. At that moment I thought "this is going to turn out into a dense heavy boulder without any crumb to speak of". But since I had already started, I just 'soldiered' on. Surprise surprise! The fougasse still managed to rise in the oven, and look at the porous interior:

Though I'm a bit disappointed with my shaping (the slits closed up, guess I did not pull the slits apart enough), the chewy crumb paired with the crusty exterior makes this loaf just perfect in my opinion.


gattina said...

but still good trying! I'm sure next round you must get the shape right!

Rene said...

Looks wonderful to me. Well, guess you have to take a "larger" step on the ladder next time, but it is always good to start with baby steps, eh? (^.^)

Angie said...

Gattina, thanks for the encouragement! :)

Rene, you are so right, start with baby steps first :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks good! Did you dip it in olive oil?

Angie said...

Ching, you bet I did! Plus balsamic vinegar too ;p