In French cuisine, fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found (with variations) in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat.
In ancient Rome, panis focacius was a flat bread baked in the ashes of the hearth (focus in Latin). This became a diverse range of breads that include "focaccia" in Italian cuisine, "hogaza" in Spain, "fogassa" in Catalonia, "fugassa" in Ligurian, "pogača" in the Balkans, "fougasse" in Provence, "fouaisse" or "foisse" in Burgundy, and Sunblest in Great Britain. The French versions are more likely to have additions in the form of olives, cheese, anchovies etc, which may be regarded as a primitive form of pizza without the tomato. There is also in Portugal the "fogaça", a sweet bread.
Fougasse was traditionally used to assess the temperature of a wood fired oven. The time it would take to bake gives an idea of the oven temperature and whether the rest of the bread can be loaded.
Fougasse is also a type of pastry from Monaco that is topped with almonds and nuts.
It is used to make the French version of calzone, which can have cheese and small squarish strips of bacon inside the pocket made by folding over the bread. Other variations include dried fruit, Roquefort and nuts or olives and goat cheese. It is known by extension as a fougasse even though it is more a sandwich than just a type of bread. The interpretation depends on the baker and your luck. It also is used to satisfy your cravings with less than 100 calories per loaf!
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