Monday, February 26, 2007

Fugazza or Fugassa vicentina

Fugazza or fugassa, not to be confused with the ligurian savory focaccia, is not well known as pandoro di Verona.
In the past was prepared mainly for Easter, nowadays it is possible to find it in pasticceria at all times.

This has been my first attempt to fugassa. It's not as buttery and rich as pandoro but a good breakfast option. I didn't have any vanilla sugar so I boiled a vanilla stick in the water for the initial starter and I really think the vanilla sugar would have been a better choice. Anyway, I am really pleased with the result, not bad at all.

You will need

380 g of bread flour
140 g vanilla sugar
90 g butter
25 g of fresh cake yeast (or 2 and half teaspoons of instant yeast, I used the gold saf instant)
lemon and orange zest (I read that it was used Spumador, a liquor with orange and lemon flavor, impossible for me to find)
1 teaspoon salt

For topping
extra granulated sugar, 10X sugar and almond slices

First dough
I combined 130 g of flour with 1 and half teaspoons of instant yeast, added enough lukewarm water to make a stiff dough, put to rise in a warm place for half an hour.

Second dough
Whip one egg with 40 g of vanilla sugar and 30 g of soft butter, add 120 g of flour. In the stand mixer I kneaded this second dough, with the first one, added in chunks. Let rise for 1 and half hours in a warm spot.

Third dough

Whip one egg with 50 g of vanilla sugar and 30 g of soft butter, add 120 flour. In the mixer incorporate the second dough in chunks fot the third dough. Let rise for 2 and half hours.

Fourth dough
Mix one teaspoon of instant yeas, 10 g of flour and a little bit of water. Whip one yolk (reserve the white) with 50 g of sugar and 30 g of soft butter, add lemon and orange zest and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the yeast mixture. Incorporate in the mixer the third dough in chunks. Let rise for one hour.

Punch down, work the dough a little bit and form a tight ball. Put on a buttered and floured pan, make a dip cross with a sharp knife and surround the dough with a 20 cm ring (I used a spring form pan ring). cover loosely and let proof for about 2 and half to 3 hours.

Slightly whip the reserved egg white and brush the top of the dough, dust with granulated sugar and afterwords x10, sprinkle with shaved almonds. I should have used pearl sugar but sometimes I have an hard time to find it, in Italy you can buy in any supermarket. Here I used a coarser sugar than granulated (the kind suggested for jams) and 10 X, it worked fine anyway.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Celsius for about 40 minutes, cover with foil if it gets too dark. Check the cooking with a long skewer.

Edited to add this: Federica, a friend from an Italian cooking forum, told me that in fact-as I suspected-the fugazza traditionally it's not baked in a mold but it has a round shape. Apart from the shape I still think that this bread tastes really good.

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