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Focaccia Vs. Fougasse

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Focaccia is a crusty artisan-style bread closely related to pizza. 

This flatbread is made from a dough enriched with olive oil, and it boasts of a rich flavor and texture.

This bread often contains ingredients like cheese, ham and olives which give it a unique flavor. 

Different varieties of focaccia can be found in other regions, and one of the most popular of its variations is Fougasse. 

Fougasse is made from the same dough as focaccia and is sometimes referred to as the Provencal focaccia 

So, what’s the difference between fougasse and focaccia? 

Continue reading to learn about the differences between these two breads  

Differences between fougasse and focaccia

These breads are closely related flatbreads that share a common ancestry, yet they differ in the following areas; 

Shape

Fougasse and focaccia are both flattened breads, and their bread dough are made from similar ingredients.

However, these breads have distinctive shapes. Focaccia is typically rectangular in shape while Fougasse is freeform and could have different shapes.

Often, fougasse is shaped like the head of wheat. 

Surface

The surfaces of each of these breads feature different patterns and designs. 

Focaccia features indentation done by the fingertips on the surface of the bread.

The surface of fougasse features a number diagonal scoring through the entire thickness of the bread and it looks just like a leaf pattern.

Texture

These breads also vary slightly in texture.  

Fougasse is crispier compared to focaccia. Focaccia is topped with a generous amount of olive oil before baking the bread which makes it less crispy   

Another reason for the variation in texture is that fougasse is traditionally baked using a hot stone whereas Focaccia is made in a pan.

What is fougasse?

Fougasse is a French bread with a distinctive shape. It is dense and crusty with elongated holes on it’s surface.

This flatbread is from the region of Provence. It is also common in other regions in France. 

Fougasse means “ladder” a reference to the shape of the bread when it is baked. 

Fougasse is so versatile  

It is enjoyed as a sandwich bread or eaten alongside other dishes. 

The bread dough is made from flour, water, olive oil and salt. It can also be leavened with yeast or sourdough  

Traditionally, sugar is used to sweeten this bread. 

Fougasse can be plain, but it can also be flavored with olive oil and anise. 

There are variations of this bread made with anchovies, ham and cheese 

The bread is flattened and can have different shapes. It could be shaped like wheat shaft, leaves or even a ladder 

Before baking, deep slashes are made on the surface of the bread which produces the pattern of wheat.   

The holes created makes the bread to bake faster, and makes it more crusty.

What is focaccia?

A sweet or savory artisan bread, and also a popular Italian street food – This bread is most closely associated with Genova. 

The name of this bread comes from the Latin word “Panis focacius” which means fireplace bread, as this was how the earlier versions of focaccia used to be made. 

It may be known by other names including pizza Genovese 

The dough for focaccia is similar to pizza dough but thicker. It is made from flour, water, olive oil and leavened with yeast.

This bread comes in different forms. It can be circular, square or rectangular in shape.

There are many regional varieties of focaccia which may differ in texture as well as flavor.

The dough is kneaded and allowed to rise following which it is pulled into its characteristic flat shape.

Olive oil is spread on the bread and salt is sprinkled over the bread.

The bread could be topped with rosemary, cheese, olives, and ham. Focaccia also features multiple indentations on its surface which is made before baking  

When baked, it has a golden crust that is dimpled, and the interior of the bread is soft.

The bread can be used as a sandwich bread to make Italian sandwiches like panini. Focaccia may also be eaten as an appetizer.