Posts Tagged ‘fougasse recipe’

Some Psycho-licious Fougasse

I always looked forward to Sunday nights when I was young. That was when Public Television hosted a few hours of the best British shows of all time. These shows taught me that another, more cultured civilization existed across the great ocean as our big Magnavox with faux wood trim beamed Benny Hill and Monty Python’s Flying Circus  into our packed living room. I never understood Benny Hill’s humor but because I was at the height of puberty AND his show always featured a quick shot of a woman taking her blouse off, I was riveted. Monty Python on the other hand, was just downright outrageous. The part I enjoyed the most was when John Kleese announced “AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!”


This summer Chef Nally and myself have been using local, organic ingredients to make some killer schiacciata as well as pizza and bread like the “Triple Pork Paradise,” (above left) featuring imported pancetta, Harmony Hollow Farms pork belly and King Family bacon paired with fresh spinach from Rich Organics, provolone, local maple syrup and Blackberries from Vest Berries. On the right is our Tuscan Schiacciata with mozzarella, provolone, fresh Amish Basil from Chesterhill, fresh mozzarella and small heirloom tomatoes, (that taste like candy,) from Cowdery Farms in Longbottom Ohio.

And now for something else completely different… All apologies blokes, but this entry is about fougasse. It’s a bread made famous in the south of France, essentially a flatbread formed in the shape of a leaf or wheatstalk.


Today I have two styles that I sold this week; a boomerang-shaped fougasse with pearl onion, King Family bacon and Cowdery Farms pablano peppers, (Right picture.) and a sunburst fougasse with basil, La Quercia lardo, blueberries and pistachio nuts, (Left picture.) Optimally, lardo is the fat from the back of a pig that has been fed only acorns and apples the last three to six months of his/her fantastic life, but the best Italian lardo is from pigs that also are allowed to watch cable reruns of Mr. Ed and Green Acres for at least six months!

Here is also an insightful trip into the nocturnal activities of a pizza madman and his outrageous breads. This is another reason for you to stay in school, get a degree and stay away from really hot ovens.




Thank you for hanging out with me. I promise next time I won’t use the term “Glorious,” (I get carried away.)

Cilantro Cassidy and the Sundance Ham

For the bread of the week I’ve got an outlaw guaranteed to turn heads, with a taste that will make you smile. You’ll love the melding flavor profiles of lemon, smoky ham and fresh cilantro of this fougasse.

Avalanche General Manager Joel Fair showing off one of these great fougasse.

First, I took a butt-load of cilantro (stems and all) and threw it, unchopped, into a mass of 30 percent high-gluten flour, 40 percent poolish (made with 80 percent spelt flour), and 20 percent of my  Levain (or starter) that I fed for a week prior.

All I needed to complete this already wet dough was the 10 percent water, salt, commercial yeast for the kick, olive oil and a little help from an organic barley malt  to make this an Avalanche bread thrill.

The ham is from my friend Rich Blazer at Harmony Hollow farms. He’s got some awesome Heritage pork and hams and is an Athens Farmers Market stalwart, especially here in winter.

Okay Mr. Goon, so what does this bread taste like?

The first bite sends the spicy cilantro off his horse and into the mailcar.

Then the lemon zest blasts the safe into smithereens.

These strong flavors have the loot. The salty Sundance ham rides beside the railcar, with its meaty texture, and saves them both. Dag, whose shoes are those?

Altogether this bread releases a broad range of flavor: spicy, steely, salty and refreshing, all in a heavily-hydrated dough I’ve aged for two days, affording the gluten net to strengthen around the ham, zest and cilantro. This time also enables more gas to form, thus producing a killer crumb structure. (Joel’s checking it out below.)

Stop on by sometime to try this bodacious fougasse… but please don’t bring the Mexican Army.