Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TWD: Baking with Julia - Leaf-Shaped Fougasse

The bizarre looking thing above is a Leaf-Shaped Fougasse, which is really a fancy way of saying that it is (or is supposed to be) a leaf-shaped focaccia bread.  If you think LEAF in your head, I guess it sort of looks like a leaf, right?  Right?

Honestly, I am not sure why one might make a leaf-shaped focaccia bread.  Maybe for a bread basket at a fancy Thanksgiving dinner?  But then it would be sliced up already so no one would see the leaf shape.  But I guess you could say this about any fancy shaped bread - the braids, the wreaths, etc.  And I do love those.  Maybe I was just not as excited about the leaf.

However,  the dough is not at all difficult to make, only sort of time consuming, as it has to rest for at least overnight if not a bit more in order to get the texture that you want.  And honestly, it must be pretty forgiving dough, as I messed up a bit and then had to finagle it a bit and it still worked out!  I made a half recipe, and when I was measuring out my 3 1/4 cups of flour, I accidentally grabbed my 3/4-cup measure instead of the 1-cup measure.  I kept thinking, "wow, this dough is really sticky and moist" and silently cursing the humid climate we have here in Houston.  So I added a little more flour, and then a little more....   I did get the "window" in the dough, so I hoped for the best.  I set the dough aside to rest for the first rise and started cleaning up the kitchen, and then noticed the cup measure switcheroo. Hmmm.  I did debate in my head tossing the entire thing out and starting over, but laziness prevailed and I just hoped for the best.  And it worked!  So there you go!  Forgiving dough!  Bread success after chaos! I'll take it!

My fougasse looks so weird because I had troubles transferring the dough from my peel, where it looked nice and pretty and was a decent take on the photo in the book, to the hot baking stone in the oven.  The dough preferred to stay on the peel, even though it was nicely dusted with cornmeal to help it slide better.  I had to shimmy and shake it onto the stone and then sort of reshape it before slamming the oven door.  I wonder if anyone else had a better method of transfer??

This is a tasty dough, and has a nice chew.  I reviewed my thoughts of this recipe for when we did the focaccia, and that time I made it too thin and didn't get the nice puff that foccacia is supposed to have.  This time I did and it was much better!  I think the lesson to be learned here is to GO WITH THE FLOW and it will all turn out okay! 

A nice lesson for life, I think!

This recipe can be found on pages 146-147 of Baking with Julia.  Check out how the other bakers fared with this recipe by going to the TWD blog and clicking on LYL- Leaf-Shaped Fougasse.


  1. You are so funny! Tasty even if it wasn't quite shaped the way you like.

  2. I had trouble shaping it too. Good that it was a success.

  3. Go with the flow is good advice! I'll keep that in mind. Hoping to make this for rewind week. :)

  4. it does look nice and puffy! I just baked mine on a sheet tray (and shaped it on there, too)...I was too nervous to try to move it around.


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