The lowpoint was today when Karl-Peter arrived at work to find his parking lot unshoveled. He parked on the street, and waded, in his business slacks and shoes, through feet of soggy white drifts. Tonight, we will go on a mission to seek warm, dry land. More on that.
This cheesy bread I included in the May Day gifts. Traditionally they are made in the shapes of trees or ladders, or, the backs of fancy chairs, which is what I feel I have created. Fougasse is traditional in Provence. If you have some left over pain ordinaire dough, you could use that instead of the poolish.
Adapted from The Village Baker
1 cup yeast starter
½ teaspoon dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour
All the poolish from previous step
½ cup cool water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil (fruity, if possible)
15-20 sage leaves
12 ounces Roquefort cheese (I used crumbled gorgonzola, that being what I had on hand)
The original recipe also calls for anchovies to get rolled in, but I had to say no to that. Ick.
Make the poolish and allow to sit out, covered, for 8 to 10 hours or overnight. To make the dough, mix the poolish and the water. Then add the flour one handful at a time, and beat each addition with fifty strokes of a spoon. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and stir in the olive oil, turning it out on the worktable. Knead the dough for five minutes until it is satiny. Flatten the dough and knead in the sage leaves and the cheese crumbles. Let it rise for 1 hours. Divide into three pieces and round into a tight ball and let rest on a workspace for 30 minutes. Then, finally, shape each piece like so—
And let rise on parchment paper for at least 1 hour. Brush the flat loaves with a little olive oil and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for between 15 and 20 minutes.
This is a tasty bread—I realized I don’t like Gorgonzola as much as I thought I would. Perhaps a cheese blend like in some of my cheese pizzas would work well too. The key is to fold the cheese into the bread. Also, it is quite a lot of fun trying to cut lattice patterns into the dough. I thought all of mine turned out to look like alien faces, or the character in the famous painting The Scream Which is exactly how I feel about this May snow