Searching my little bread library, I came upon a rye fougasse recipe that was stuffed with cheesy goodness. Excellent. (Picture Mr. Burns here)
The original King Arthur Flour recipe had the second loaf stuffed with olives and rosemary but I tweaked it to make it appropriately cheesy to match it's mate.
The resulting fougasse (which are similar to focaccia) are crisp and chewy with a delightful center of tender, salty cheese. What could be better than that?
Rye Fougasse with Two Cheese Fillings, Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
1 cup (3 3/4 ounces) whole rye flour
3/4 cup (6 ounces) cool water
Scant pinch instant yeast
All of the preferment
1/2 cup (4 ounces) water
2/3 cup (2 1/4 ounces) whole rye flour
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
2 tbsp (7/8 ounce) olive oil
Blue Cheese and Pecan Filling
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) chopped pecans (or walnuts, if you prefer)
Feta and Olive Filling
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped olives (I like Kalamata, sundried tomatoes would also be good)
Italian seasoning, for tops
The night before...
Mix up your preferment ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer. Let sit, covered, for at least 15 hours, until domed and bubbly.
The next day...
1. Add the dough ingredients in the order listed. With the dough hook, mix on low speed for 2 minutes until incorporated. Check for consistency, the dough should be sticky. Add a tablespoon of water if needed. No more than two. Continue to mix on medium speed for 3 more minutes.
The dough should have pulled away from the sides by now. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest until dough is puffy, about 1 hour.
2. Flour your board and scrape your risen dough out onto it. Pat into a rectangle and fold up like a letter. (Brush away any flour that might get into the middle of the letter) Turn the folded dough and fold again from the long sides. This will give your dough strength. Put your folded dough back into the bowl and let rise, covered, for another hour.
3. Mix your fillings together in small bowls.
4. Shape your dough - Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough one it. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, covering the other one to keep it from drying out. Flour your hand and pat the dough into a rectangular shape. Spread the first filling down one side of the rectangle. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough into and oval shape about 10 inches long. Place the loaf on a piece of parchment paper and cover it with plastic wrap. Shape and fill the second piece to the same point, using the second filling. Allow the loaves to rise, covered, for about 40 minutes.
5. Adjust the racks to divide the oven into thirds, and place your baking stone on the bottom rack. Preheat your oven and baking stone to 425f.
6. Slash and bake. Place your filled doughs onto parchment paper. I slashed the dough into a ladder design, using my fingers to stretch the dough out. A leaf design is also traditional.
7. Mist the loaves and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
8. Place the first loaf into the oven on the baking stone. (Leave it on the parchment, use a peel if you have one - or else use a baking sheet) Bake for 15 minutes and then transfer to the top rack, placing the second loaf on the bottom rack. Bake first loaf another 5-10 minutes on the top rack and pull out when crisp and brown. Do the same for the second loaf.
To break it down - each loaf bakes for 15 minutes on the bottom rack on the baking stone. Then they are each transferred to the top rack until finished - about 5-10 minutes.
9. Let cool on a rack.
This bread is heading over to Susan's Wild Yeast for Yeastspotting!