Rosemary, Orange, and Raisin Fougasse

Image: Rosemary, Orange, and Golden Raisin Fougasse.
National Festival of Breads Winner
Deborah Biggs, Omaha, NE

Fougasse is a slightly sweet Provencal flatbread traditionally made at Christmastime. Usually flavored with crushed anise seeds, my original recipe uses fresh rosemary, a piney and fragrant herb that I always have on hand growing in a pot. Orange flower water is also a traditional ingredient in this bread. Its unique and floral sweet fragrance will fill your kitchen when you bake these attractive, leaf-shaped loaves.

Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Bake Time: 27 minutes
Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients

½ cup orange juice 
¼ teaspoon French orange-flavored flower water 
2/3 cup California golden raisins 
1 teaspoon sweet orange-flavored liqueur 
1/4 cup extra - light olive oil 
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary 

SPONGE 
2/3 cup warm water (100° to 110° F) 
2 tablespoons warm orange juice (100° to 110°F) 
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast 
1 teaspoon granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon honey 
¾ cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 

DOUGH 
5 teaspoons granulated sugar 
1 tablespoon French orange-flavored flower water 
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest 
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon room temperature water 
3 – 3 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, divided 
1 ¾ teaspoons fine grain sea salt 

TOPPING 
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided 
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary , divided 
2 teaspoons pearl sugar or turbinado sugar, divided 

Instructions

1. In microwavable bowl, combine orange juice, orange flower water and raisins. Microwave uncovered on full power for 45 seconds; stir in orange liqueur. Set aside. 
2. In small saucepan, carefully heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons rosemary on low heat, just until oil reaches 150°F. Remove from heat; set aside. 
3. To prepare sponge, in stand mixer bowl, combine warm water, orange juice and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes. Add sugar, honey and ¾ cup flour until blended. Cover; let rest 30 minutes. 
4. Drain raisins well on paper towels and pat dry; set aside. 
5. For dough, add cooled oil mixture, sugar, orange flower water, orange zest, water, 1 cup flour and salt. Beat with paddle attachment on low speed 3 minutes. Gradually stir in 2 cups flour. Cover; let stand 15 minutes. With dough hook, knead 5 minutes, adding enough remaining flour to make a moist dough. Add raisins; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. 
6. Place dough in lightly greased bowl. Cover; let rise until double, about 1 ¼ hours. Punch down dough; divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Gently pat or roll each portion into 8 x 13-inch oval. 
7. Place ovals on two parchment-lined 12 x 18-inch baking sheets. For leaf design make a 10-inch cut lengthwise down the center, cutting all the way through dough, leaving 1-inch of dough intact on ends. Diagonally make 3 slanted cuts in both halves to mimic veins in leaves. Slightly pull cuts apart so they will not close up during baking. Cover; let rise 30 minutes (dough will not double in size but will be puffy). 
8. Arrange oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°F. Brush each loaf with olive oil; sprinkle with rosemary and pearl sugar. Bake 15 minutes; switch baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back and continue baking 8 to 12 minutes until loaves are golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Serve Fougasse the same day as baked. 

Makes 2 loaves, 14 slices each. 

Nutrition Information

One slice provides approximately 98 calories; 2 g protein; 16 g carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 2 g fat (0g saturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 22 mcg folate; 1mg iron and 147 mg sodium.

Additional Notes

Note: Purchase French orange-flavored flower water at a Mediterranean market or specialty food store. Pearl sugar is a coarse sugar that won’t dissolve on baked goods. Purchase online at King Arthur Flour.