Fougasse. It’s called focaccia in Italy and fougasse in Provence. Both are yeasted flatbreads scented or stuffed with herbs and other goodies. They’re usually served with a flavored olive oil on the side for dipping. Fougasse, as opposed to focaccia, is often shaped like a leaf by slitting the dough to represent the veins. The resulting fougasse looks a bit like an edible split-leaf philodendron, otherwise known as Monstera deliciosa (deliciosa, really
However, I suspect the slits in fougasse have less to do with pretty and more to do with crust. Of course I think crust is pretty and maybe you do too.
To get a really pretty crust I followed the advice of a master baker I know. She said to ignore the recipe’s temperature guide and crank the oven as high as it goes. If you can’t get the oven to 500 degrees F or higher, don’t bother making bread until you get a new oven (her advice not mine, he said gleefully). But if it does get that hot, then spritz 15–20 squirts of water from a spray bottle inside the oven to create steam. Load the fougasse into the oven and finish with five more squirts before closing the door. Then (and this was new to me) open the door to the oven just a crack for the last three or four minutes of baking to get a crisper crust.
The fougasse you see here is made with black olives and sun-dried tomatoes following a method I borrowed from Dorie Greenspan’s book, Around My French Kitchen. The flatbread recipe itself I adapted from the Easy Flat Bread Dough recipe in my own book, Savory Pies. It proved highly adaptable to fougasse and I suspect focaccia too. Which made me one relieved author. GREG