Fougasse can be flavored with herbs, capers, or even candied fruits or citrus zest. Chef and cooking instructor Patricia Wells likes to use capers that have been marinated in extra-virgin olive oil.
At least 40 minutes before placing the assembled fougasse in the oven, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Punch down the prepared dough and divide it evenly into 5 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball of dough into an 8-by-5-inch rectangle. Using a pastry scraper, cut 3 or 4 parallel slashes into the bread.
Sprinkle a baking sheet with coarse cornmeal, and carefully transfer the rectangles of dough to the baking sheet. Gently pull apart at the slashes. Cover with a clean towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Assemble the fougasse: Brush lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle with preferred toppings, such as olives, herbs, oil-marinated capers, candied orange peel and granulated sugar, herbes de Provence, or aniseed. Reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees. and bake until golden and crusty, 25 to 30 minutes.