When I first read about fougasse, I thought it must be virtually the same as focaccia. Indeed, I used our focaccia recipe to make this fougasse. Amazingly, both of us have decreed that fougasse is superior to focaccia. We absolutely adore fougasse!! (Not that there's anything wrong with focaccia!)
Here it is just before being baked: shaped, slashed, risen for about an hour, oiled and salted with grey seasalt from Brittany.
The great thing about baking the bread on the barbecue is that it gets darker spots. They DON'T taste burned but are beautifully crispy and caramelized.
Of course, it can be cut with a knife but we think that fougasse tastes better torn apart.
In his book "Tartine Bread", Chad Robertson suggests adding anything larger than dried herbs and spices to the dough itself rather than placing them on top. This olive fougasse was made with oil-cured black olives that were halved and pitted before being added to the dough.
Here is the fougasse shaped, slashed then once the fougasse had risen, drizzled with olive oil and salted with coarse grey seasalt. We then put it over direct heat on our hot pizza stone on the barbecue just as barbecued chicken was almost done.
Baking olive fougasse on our pizza stone in the barbecue first over direct heat then moving it over to bake in indirect heat. Even on direct heat, it was getting quite dark on the bottom wasn't quite done on top, so we turned it over, slipping the parchment paper out at the same time.
And then back over to indirect heat to finish it...
We tore it in pieces and served the bread in a basket, giving each person a small bowl of herbed olive oil for dipping.
Both Chad Robertson and Patricia Wells suggest making fougasse with lean bread dough. This fougasse was made with baguette dough. The resulting bread was slightly different from the focaccia-dough fougasse but equally delicious.
We drizzled the fougasse with the oil from oil-infused mushrooms...
...and served it with the mushrooms and grilled vegetables. It was brilliant!
The traditional shaping for fougasse is in a leaf or ladder shape. But it can be shaped in any way you want. This was an attempt at a Jack-o-fougasse. I'm afraid I didn't open the eyes enough before baking it.
Of course, fougasse can be baked in the oven as well. This one, filled with poppy seeds turned out beautifully.
We decided to leave this one unadorned with the traditional drizzling of oil and salt. It was as brilliant as ever dipped into herbed olive oil and served with grilled salmon. (Poppy seed fouasse is also terrific with shrimps in pernod.)