At least 40 minutes before placing the assembled fougasse in the oven, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.Advertisement
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.