Sausage and Gruyère Fougasse
About the Recipe
Fougasse, the traditional French bread, is a delicious and easy-to-make treat that everyone should try. It is a versatile bread that can be enjoyed on its own or served with cheese, charcuterie, or spreads, making it the perfect addition to any meal. I love fougasse. I could eat it every day. Similar to focaccia, you can easily adapt the recipe to give it your own personal twist.
One of the reasons I think fougasse is so delicious is due to its crispy exterior and soft, chewy interior. The bread's distinct flavor is a result of using high-quality ingredients, including flour, yeast, salt, and water. The dough is then shaped into a distinctive and attractive leaf-like pattern before being baked in the oven. The result is a crispy crust with a tender and flavorful interior.
Another reason why fougasse is so delicious is because of its versatility. As I mentioned about, it can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including herbs, cheese, and nuts, to create unique and delicious flavor combinations. This versatility also makes fougasse a great option for hosting events and feeding large groups of people, as it can be easily adapted to any occasion or for any flavor preferences. In this particular recipe I put a Swiss spin on it by using Knackwurst and Gruyère. It made it more of a meal in itself than a side dish.
Apart from the texture and flavor, I also love it because fougasse is incredibly easy to make. The dough is simple to mix and the shaping process is straightforward and can be done with a rolling pin or your hands. The finished product is then baked in the oven for about half an hour until it is golden brown and delicious.
Overall, whether you are a seasoned baker or just starting out, fougasse is a great option for anyone who wants to enjoy a beautiful, delicious, crusty loaf of bread.
2 cups All-Purpose Flour (+extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Warm Water
2 teaspoons Yeast
1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (+extra for greasing)
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 cooked Sausage (chopped into small cubes)
1/3 cup cubed Gruyère Cheese
5 Cherry Tomatoes (sliced)
2 tablespoons Caramelized Onions
2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme
Cracked Salt for taste
Begin by activating the yeast. In a small bowl, add warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir until the yeast has dissolved. Let sit for 15 minutes or until bubbles start to form at the surface. This is how you know the yeast is starting to wake up.
In a large bowl, add flour, salt and dried oregano. Mix with a whisk or a slotted spoon until well incorporated.
Once the yeast mixture is ready, make a small well in the center of your flour (like a volcano) and pour yeast mixture inside the well. Use your hands to slowly knead the dough.
Knead until all the flour in well incorporated. Add in the sausage bits and knead some more until the sausage bits seem well distributed throughout your dough. I used a German Knackwurst sausage, but really any cooked sausage will do. I like to cube mine into small bite sized bits, so that they can get distributed more easily and are small enough to be eaten in a single bite.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, give the dough a punch with your fist to deflate it and let it rise again for another 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Once it has risen for the second time, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Flour liberally so the dough will not stick. Dust the dough well with some more flour and transfer the dough onto the baking sheet. Don't feel shy to use flour, the dough can be quite sticky. It may feel a bit hard to handle if you are making this for the first time. Don't worry, use flour if you need to and take your time to stretch it out. You can use a rolling pin to help if need be.
Once transfered, you will want to try and spread the dough out into an oval 'leaf' type of shape. Use a sharp knife, or pizza knife to cut a long slit down the center length of the 'leaf' as well as a few side slits. Use your hands to open the slits up as much as you can without deforming or ripping the dough. Keep in mind, the bread will rise a bit in the oven, so the slits will get tighter when it bakes.
Once you have made the slits, brush the top of your fougasse with some olive oil.
Next decorate the top with your cubed Gruyère, sliced cherry tomatoes, caramelized onion bits and some fresh thyme. When it is all nicely laid out crack some sea salt over top (I like using Himalayan Pink Salt).
Stick it in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bread is nice and crisp and golden.
I personally love fougasse straight out of the oven, when it is hot and crispy, but it is also very delicious when cooled. It usually doesn't last very long in my house and gets devoured instantly. It is a great bread to make as an appetizer, to bring to a potluck or to serve as a side to any dish.
Hope you love it as much as I do!