Freshly baked bread that doesn’t only taste amazing, but looks impressive too!
I wanted to bake some bread but to Rien’s disgust, I didn’t want to make a normal loaf or rolls (He pouted and moaned throughout the whole process because he wouldn’t be able to make a sandwich with it). I remembered a type of bread I had seen on one of Lorraine Pascale’s programmes called fougasse and thought it had looked great so decided that would be perfect.
I have only made quite basic loaves or rolls before so I was keen to expand my skills and make a shaped loaf. Although this type of bread doesn’t require a great deal of skill, it does look impressive once baked.
Rien managed to get over the fact it wasn’t a loaf by the time the fougasse came out of the oven and couldn’t wait to try some. We let it cool slightly and then tucked in – it was delicious! The crust was only slightly crisp with the great flavour of rosemary and sea salt. The bread went perfectly with some meat and cheese which I think is a lovely weekend lunch. Its safe to say Rien wasn’t disappointed and said he would look forward to me making it again.
I love the flavours of rosemary and salt, especially with bread. The recipe I used had tomatoes and onions but I decided to go with rosemary and salt as I tend to have these most of the time, but feel free to add any toppings you like. For example I’ve seen fougasse recipes with chorizo which sounds delicious and I will be trying that soon! I got the recipe for the dough from Good Food http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/335608/red-onion-cherry-tomato-and-rosemary-fougasse. I look forward to adding new flavours to the dough now I know how easy it is! Feel free to try your own flavours, I’d love to hear how you get on.
For the dough
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
350ml hand-hot water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- Mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and chopped rosemary together. Add the water and oil and mix to form a soft dough
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. I tend to start it in my mixer with a dough hook and then finish it by kneading my hand. When pressed, the dough should spring back when it has been kneaded enough
- Put back in the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or cling film sprayed with oil. Leave to rise for 1 hour
- Heat the oven to 240°C (220°C fan). Divide the dough into two and shape into long rectangles approximately 25cm long
- Place on a floured baking sheet and brush lightly with water. Cut one diagonal slash through the dough and then three slashes either side to give the dough leaf like markings. Open out the slashes slightly
For the topping
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp rosemary leaves
1 tsp sea salt
- Scatter the salt over the bread. Dip the rosemary leaves in the oil to help the stick to the bread but also to stop them burning
- Leave to rise for 15 mins, then bake for 15-20 mins until risen and golden brown