Break them apart warm from the oven and drag them through your favorite stew or olive oil and balsamic.
The crust is my favorite part of artisan breads, and with fougasse, you get all of the crunch of crusty bread with just a little bit of airy interior to soak up the sauces and dips.
Fougasse is a bread originally from Provence, in the south of France, and often sold in the daily markets. It can be plain, or studded with olives, sun dried tomatoes, and/or herbs. The loaves are typically large, about the size of a half sheet pan.
These mini versions are so easy to make.... way easier than I expected. I would say that my my only minor complaint is that the bread is not as deeply colored as I would like, but that is likely from the very short baking time. The crust is still very crispy. Think pizza crust.
The original recipe for this bread calls for a poolish, a mixture of flour, water, and a small amount of yeast, which are mixed about 6 hours in advance. While the poolish is not necessary, it adds a lot of flavor to the bread.
I decided to use some sourdough discard in my poolish to add even more flavor. Don't worry if you don't have a sourdough starter. You can still make a poolish without it.
This bread freezes well. Just toast it in your toaster oven to recrisp.
- For the poolish, mix 150 grams bread flour, 50 grams whole wheat flour and 200 grams water with 1 gram instant yeast.
- Alternatively, mix 300 grams 100 percent hydration sourdough starter with 50 grams whole wheat flour, 50 grams of water, and 1 gram of instant yeast.
- Mix the ingredients in bowl with a dough whisk or spatula until combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for four to six hours.
Mini Fougasse Recipe
- All of the poolish
- 300 grams bread flour
- 8 grams sea salt
- 5 grams instant yeast
- 120 to 150 grams lukewarm water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the poolish, flour, salt, yeast, and water.
- Mix with a dough whisk or large spoon until most of the flour is moistened.
- Knead the dough with a dough hook for about 7 minutes, adding more water until the dough comes together and is slightly sticky. I used all of the water.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. In the meantime. preheat your oven with a baking stone on the middle rack to 500 degrees F. Place a broiler pan on the rack below the stone.
- Stretch and fold the dough, pulling it out from all four "sides," cover it again, and let rest for 30 minutes more.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces, and press each into a 7 inch square on top of a square of parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Stretch the top of the dough up a bit, and using a credit card or small dough scraper (I used my Costco card), cut a leaf pattern into the dough, as pictured. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough.
- Bring one cup of water to a boil. Using a pizza peel or large spatula, place the four fougasse on the baking stone, parchment and all. Pour the boiling water into the broiler pan (cover the glass on your oven door with a towel while pouring the water), and shut the oven door (after removing the towel).
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the bread is browned and crispy. Cool on a wire rack.
- Serve while fresh, or wrap with plastic wrap and freeze to be toasted later.