Wow - I bet you thought I forgot about that dough you have sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be shaped into wonderful loaves of deliciousness!
Your patience was well worth it; I introduce you to the Fougasse. This cut has a long and varied history. I will focus on the Italian tradition of fougasse. The old Italian bakers used to use these small cut pieces of dough to test the temperature of the bread ovens. They would determine how hot the oven is based on the time the dough took to cook.
This was my first time to make a go at the fougasse cut. This turned our white bread dough recipe into the most fabulous pretzel like texture and taste you've ever had! This definitely became a new family favorite. If you are looking for a healthy, homemade road trip safe food this is your ticket to success. The personal size of these pieces make them perfect for traveling or just sitting in front of the computer.
(from Dough by Richard Bertinet)
- Make up a batch of the white bread dough
- Flour the counter well. Use the rounded end of your plastic scraper to release the dough from the bowl, so that you can scoop it out easily in one piece and transfer it to the counter without stretching it. Be careful not to deflate the dough when handling it but let it spread out to cover a square of the counter. Generously flour the top of the dough, cover with a lint free dishtowel,and let rest for another 5 minutes.
- Using the flat edge of your scraper, cut the dough into two rectangles and then cut each piece again into three roughly rectangular pieces. Again handle the dough as gently as you can so that it stays as light and full of air as possible. Keep the pieces well floured.
- Take one of the pieces of dough and use the flat edge of your scraper to make a large diagonal cut across the center, making sure that you don't go right to the edges of the dough, but cut all the way through the dough onto your counter. Then make three smaller diagonal cuts fanning out on each side of the central one. Put your fingers into the slits and gently open them out of form holes.
- Lift onto a lightly floured wooden peel or flat-edged baking tray and from here, slide onto the hot baking stone or upturned tray in the preheated oven. Do this as quickly as possible to avoid letting heat out of the oven. Using a water spray, mist the inside of the oven with water just before closing the door. Turn the heat down to 450F (230C) and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Lewis Note: A flat plastic spatula works just as well as an expensive dough scraper!
What types of dips (if any) would you eat this with? Butter? Salt? Chocolate?
Tell us all about your preferences!