I have been watching too much of Mr. Paul Hollywood, and this recipe (Bread appetizers Stuffed Fougasse) is all inspired by his style of baking. I am a big fan / may be developing a crush on him now. Hahahaha (Hope Pranav doesn’t takes it too seriously). His breads and his style to handle the dough gives me a boost; to knead and to bake.
Fougasse is pronounced as (foo- gahss) and it is a wonderfully delicious flat bread mostly in the shape of a leaf. Fougasse is classically a thin plain bread, but the recipe can be so versatile; so many flavors can be added (bell peppers, olives, jalapeno, onions, walnuts, sesame, thyme, rosemary). Think of something interesting and that can make your fougasse recipe stand out. Hey! Fougasse can also be made as a sweet bread, which I am so eager to try. For today- I combined roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, olives, fresh thyme and cheese to my fougasse. When the bread was almost done, (with a closed oven door), my house was full of irresistible amazing aromas.
Fougasse has its trademark slits, which gives the bread a leaf shape. But I think that baking bread should always be done with an ease. So don’t bother if you don’t achieve that perfect leaf shape. The whole beauty of bread lies in the rustic look. Mostly the texture and aromas matter – not the shape.
Tip: Use a pizza cutter to slit your bread, it makes your work super easy. The slits in the middle of the flat bread helps in getting a good bake all over.
The dough will be little wet, so have patience and keep kneading. If you have a stand mixer- you are good to go. I had attended a bread making class with chef Anees khan. I have jotted down many important points in the link I am sharing here. Please go through, it will be of great help. Bread baking needs an understanding of the ingredients, how they work alone and with each other. Bread Basics
I tried to create my version of stuffed Fougasse and it worked very well. The bread had a nice brown crisp outside and the interior was soft and full of flavors. These kind of breads can be a good accompaniment to hot soups in the winter. I served my bread with a my homemade cheese dip, as soup was not ready. And nobody had the patience to wait for the soup. The fact is stuffed Fougasse is great (not only good) as it is.