What is Fougasse?
While not everyone has had the chance to experience fougasse, this popular French bread is becoming more popular in a number of locations around the world. As a flattened bread that is often sweetened with some form of sugar and a concentration of orange flavored water, fougasse is a wonderful accompaniment to all sorts of meals. Here is some information about how to make fougasse and some ideas of how to enjoy the bread with meals.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of fougasse is that it is often baked into a shape that is somewhat like a tree, with one end resembling the trunk and the wider opposite end being more or less round in structure. It is possible to make this tree shape mold by creating dough using the same basic ingredients as found in the Italian focaccia bread.
A basic recipe for fougasse would include white or wheat flour, oil or shortening, spices of choice and baking powder. Often, goat milk is used in the recipe as well, although any type of milk will do. After the dough is rolled into the appropriate shape, it is often brushed with olive oil and the herbs are sprinkled on the top of the bread before baking. In some quarters, fougasse is known as anise bread, owing to the frequent use of that herb with this type of flattened bread.
Because fougasse is a flat bread, it can be served in flat sections or folded to create a pocket in the middle. The pocket can be stuffed with a number of foods, such as nuts and olives, cheeses, fried fruit or strips of bacon with condiments and herbs. Only the cook’s imagination and the tastes of hungry individuals in the household limit the filler for fougasse.
Fougasse can be used as a tasty accompaniment to both hot and cold soups, as well as create sandwich like snacks for the family. When it comes to use with main dishes, fougasse pairs very well with a number of pasta dishes, as well as creamy casseroles. Even something as simple as a meal centered around chopped sirloin can seem a little more special with the addition of fougasse to the table.
Specialty bakeries often carry some form of fougasse. Typically, the baked fougasse will be sold with a light dusting of herbs. Since the exterior of the bread is somewhat crusty, it is easy to add more herbs at home, as well as fold over the fougasse and add your own ingredients to the pocket. As an example of a bread that can go from a simple presentation to something quite elegant, fougasse is well worth considering for your next dinner.
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