Walnut, Raisin, and Blue Cheese Fougasse

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Hands-on time:
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Yield: 1 large loaf

Recipe photo

Fougasse, a specialty of Provence, France, is made from a basic yeast dough to which you can add fresh herbs, nuts, raisins, cheese, or any combination of ingredients you find enticing. The filled dough is first shaped into an oval, then midway through its rise receives a series of slashes. The baker pulls the loaf apart at those slashes, and the loaf bakes in an attractive ladder or tree pattern. Fougasse is the perfect loaf for those who prefer crusty crust to soft middle.

Read our blog about this bread, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.

Walnut, Raisin, and Blue Cheese Fougasse

star rating (4) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 large loaf
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Starter

Dough

Filling

  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup firm blue cheese, coarsely crumbled or cubed

Tips from our bakers

  • This is a great place to use the 1 cup of starter that you'd ordinarily discard when you're feeding your sourdough. Simply substitute 1 cup of sourdough starter (NOT fed) for the overnight starter called for in the recipe; and reduce the water in the recipe to 1/3 cup.

Directions

1) To make the starter: Combine the flour, water and yeast, and set aside to rest, covered, overnight.

2) To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, including the overnight starter, in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in your bread machine set on the dough cycle.

3) Knead the dough till it's smooth, about 7 minutes using a stand mixer; or let it go through the dough cycle in your bread machine.

4) Place the dough in a lightly greased container, cover it, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, for about 1 1/2 hours, till it's just about doubled in bulk. Towards the end of the rising time, place the crumbled blue cheese in the freezer, to firm it up prior to kneading it into the dough.

5) Knead in the walnuts and raisins; then the blue cheese, at the end. This will be a messy process, but just stick with it (literally!), and it'll get done.

6) Shape the dough into a 10" x 12" oval, place it on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and allow it to rise for about 45 minutes, covered.

7) For a simple ladder fougasse, cut three deep diagonal slashes, all the way through the dough, in the center of the loaf, and pull it apart to form a ladder shape. For a "tree" fougasse, cut one vertical slash in the center of the dough; and three diagonal slashes on either side of the vertical slash. Allow it to rise for another 30 to 45 minutes, covered.

8) If desired, brush the crust with 1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water. This will give the loaf a satiny brown crust. Bake the fougasse in a preheated 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it's golden brown. Transfer it to a rack to cool.

Yield: 1 loaf.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 08/08/2009
  • Jeri from Seattle
  • This recipe inspires creativity...If you don't like walnuts, raisins and blue cheese, use another combo. This is a super way to use discard sourdough starter. I kneaded it by hand and found it was surprising easy to handle and shape.
  • star rating 08/08/2009
  • Mini from central Texas
  • I will never make this again even though I like crusty European Bread the cheese and raisins just do not mix.
  • 07/29/2009
  • Earlene from Walnut Creek, CA.
  • I would like to make this recipe, but I do not see where to use ,or how much of the starter to use, in making the bread. Do we use all of it? Because in the side-bar, someone mentioned about using the 1 cup leftover starter, in the recipe. I'm confused. Please help.
    If you are making the starter as the recipe states, use all of it and add the dough ingredients to it. If you want t o use your premade sourdough starter, use 1 cup and add the dough ingredients to it, instead of making a new starter. mary@ KAF
  • 07/29/2009
  • Marguerite E. Dawson (medawson7@att.net) from Hazel Crest, IL
  • Question: When does one add the starter?
    Add all of the dough uingredients to the starter. thanks for catching our error. mary @ KAF
1
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