How to make Fougasse bread
In this video tutorial I will be showing you how to make Fougasse bread which was one of the challenges of The Great British Bake Off Series 7 2016. Fougasse is a type of bread very popular in France. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat.
This Fougasse recipe contains herbs but you can add other things like sun dried tomatoes and olives. The recipe below is the one I used and it the recipe of one of The Great British Bake off judges, Paul Hollywood.
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g fine salt
- 10g instant yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 350ml warm water
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra to finish
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
- fine semolina for dusting
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- crushed sea salt, to finish
- Put the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl and mix together. Add water and oil and mix. When you cannot mix anymore with a wooden spoon, put to one side and then knead with your hands. When it is almost mixed in add the herbs in and knead until almost mixed in and then knead in the herbs.
- Put the oil on a work surface and knead the dough until smooth, when smooth put it back in a bowl and let it rise until doubled in size.
- If you are using a stand mixer : Put the flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Don’t put the salt directly on top of the yeast). Add the olive oil and three-quarters of the water. Begin mixing on a low speed. As the dough starts to come together, add the remaining water very slowly, then mix for another 6-8 minutes on a medium speed. Add the rosemary, sage and thyme and mix for 1 minute until the herbs are evenly distributed in the dough. When ready the dough will be very elastic and you should be able to stretch it away from the bowl.
- Tip the dough into the prepared container. Cover and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – about an hour.
- Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone paper.
- After an hour the dough should be bouncy and shiny. Mix equal quantities of white flour and semolina together and use to heavily dust the work surface. Carefully tip out the dough onto the work surface.It will be quite loose and flowing, but don’t worry. Divide the dough in half.
- Lift each piece of dough onto the prepared baking sheets and spread out into flat ovals. Using a pizza cutter, make two cuts down the middle of the ovals stopping 2 cm from each end, then make 12 diagonal cuts in the dough, forming a leaf design, then stretch the dough out to emphasise the holes.
- Place the sheets in plastic bags and leave to prove for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
- Spray a little olive oil over the top of the loaves using a water spray bottle, or just drizzle over the oil. Sprinkle over the dried oregano and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and while still hot, brush with olive oil then sprinkle with crushed sea salt.