Monday, 20 February 2017

Herb Fougasse.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I think your Monday could do with a little fresh bread.

No smell can beat that of freshly baked bread.
It's the best especially when the bread dough has plenty of fresh herbs running through it. This fougasse has three herbs - fresh sage, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. You could use all of them, some of them or leave them out all together.

Fougasse is a French bread which according to Wikipedia is shaped into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat. That's news to me because I think the pattern looks like a leaf. What do you think?

Anyway, no matter what we think it looks like, the fougasse is not only a delicious bread, but is a bread perfect for beginners. When I first came across the recipe, I was slightly daunted. But honestly, I needn't have worried. The fougasse is something that looks really complicated but once you get to baking it, is actually really simple.

We love it hot and will always reheat it in the microwave if it goes cold. It's great served with your favourite dips or cheese. I even had it last week dunked into hot aloo gobi soup. Yep, you read right. I turned the humble curry into a soup. But more on that when the time is right.

Bread, previously: 13 recipes here!

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Strong White Bread Flour
2. Dried Yeast
3. Fine Salt
4. Olive Oil
5. Warm Water
6. Fresh Sage
7. Fresh Thyme
8. Fresh Rosemary
9. Dried Oregano
10. Sea Salt

Bismillah, let's begin!

We start by mixing together the fougasse bread dough. For this bread, we'll use strong white bread flour.

I used a stand mixer to make the fougasse but you can also make it by hand or with an electric hand mixer.

Into the bowl, place 500g Strong White Bread Flour.

Then, take 1 x 7g sachet Dried Yeast.

And, sprinkle in all the yeast.

Give the two a mix until well combined. We do this so that when the salt comes in, it doesn't directly touch the yeast.

Speaking of salt, let's throw in 10g Fine Salt.

Before drizzling in 2 tablespoons Olive Oil.

Measure 350ml Warm Water and pour in 3/4 into the bowl.

Time to mix!

Fit the dough hook.

And, start to mix.

When the dough starts to come together, gradually pour in the rest of the warm water.

Then, let the dough mix on a medium speed for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, let's prep the fresh herbs. You can leave them out if you want a plain fougasse. Or you can use what you like. When I first tested this recipe, I only used two of the herbs: rosemary and thyme.

Today, I'm going to use all three herbs. Starting with fresh sage.

Next, my personal favourite, fresh thyme.

Finally, fresh rosemary.

Finely chop up a small handful of all three herbs.


By now, the dough should have been kneaded for 8 minutes.


To the dough, add in:
2 teaspoons Chopped Fresh Sage
2 teaspoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
2 teaspoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary


Once they are in ...


... knead the dough with the machine until the herbs have been equally distributed.


Then, lightly oil a large bowl and put in the dough. Brush the top of the dough with oil to prevent a crust from forming. Cover the bowl with clingfilm.


Put the bowl into a warm place. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.


Next, let's shape the dough. Tip the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. 


Give the dough a light knead before dividing in two.


This recipe makes two loaves of fougasse. To prepare one fougasse, shape the dough half into a flat oval. The oval shouldn't be too big and should be of an equal thickness. I used a rolling pin to help me. Place the oval onto a greased and lined baking tray.


Now, for the signature fougasse leaf shape. Take a pizza cutter or sharp knife, and cut two lines down the middle of the oval with a gap between each.


Then make 12 diagonal cuts, 6 on either side of the middle cuts.


It does not have to be perfect. This is a homemade bread, after all.


Now, to emphasise the cuts, stretch the dough out a little.


Repeat the exact same procedure with the second half of the dough.


Then, it's time for a second rise. Loosely cover the baking trays with clingfilm and let the bread rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.


Now, it's time to bake. Preheat the oven to 220C. I baked my bread, one loaf at a time but you may bake them both at once.


Before baking, take some olive oil.

Brush or spray the fougasse with Olive Oil.


And, last but not least, take some Dried Oregano.


Sprinkle the fougasse with Dried Oregano, to taste.


Bake the fougasse for 15-20 minutes.


Bake until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base.


While the fougasse is still hot, grab some sea salt.


Sprinkle the fougasse with Sea Salt, to taste. And, brush or spray with a little more Olive Oil.

Let the bread cool a little then enjoy! The fougasse is great cold but even better hot!

I love this fougasse with anything, even on its own, fresh out of the oven. It's great dipped into good olive oil or balsamic vinegar. It's also delicious served with your favourite dips or cheese and is equally as good with a bowl of hot soup.

Herb Fougasse.

Prep + Rising Time: About 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Bake Time: About 15-20 minutes.
Serves: Makes 2 loaves of fougasse.

Ingredients

For the Herb Fougasse Dough
500g Strong White Bread Flour
1 x 7g sachet Dried Yeast
10g Fine Salt
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
350ml Warm Water
2 teaspoons Chopped Fresh Sage
2 teaspoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
2 teaspoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary

Before Baking
Olive Oil, as needed
Dried Oregano, to taste

After Baking
Olive Oil, as needed
Sea Salt, to taste

Make the dough:
In a large stand mixer bowl, mix together the bread flour and dried yeast. Add in the salt, olive oil and 3/4 of the warm water. Fit the dough hook and mix on a low speed. When the dough starts to come together, pour in the remaining water in stages. Then, let the dough knead for 8 minutes on a medium speed.

Add in the sage, thyme and rosemary. Mix until the herbs are distributed throughout the dough.

Time to rise:
Lightly oil a large bowl and add in the dough. Brush the top of the dough with a little oil to prevent a crust from forming. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place into a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This should take around 1 hour.

Shape the dough:
Grease and line two large baking trays with baking paper. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Give it a quick knead by hand and then slice in half. Shape each half into flat ovals. I used a rolling pin to help me. The ovals shouldn't be too big and should be roughly equal in thickness.

Place the ovals onto a baking tray each. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut two lines down the middle of the ovals with a gap between each. Then, make 12 diagonal cuts, 6 on either side of the middle cuts. Stretch the dough a little so that the cuts are visible. See the photo recipe above to help you.

A second rise:
Loosely cover the trays with clingfilm and let the bread rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Time to bake:
Preheat the oven to 220C. I baked one fougasse at a time. Before baking, brush or spray the dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with dried oregano. Bake the fougasse for 15-20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

To finish:
Brush or spray the fougasse with more olive oil whilst it's still hot. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy the bread hot or cold.

To serve:
Fougasse is great dipped into good olive oil or balsamic vinegar. It's also delicious served with your favourite dips or cheese and is equally as good with a bowl of hot soup.

Recipe Notes:

  • I used a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to mix my dough. You may use an electric hand mixer or make it by hand.
  • When making bread, you don't want the dried yeast and salt to directly touch. This is why I mix the yeast into the flour first, and then add in the salt.
  • You don't have to add the fresh herbs. You don't have to add all the herbs either. When testing this recipe, I added only fresh rosemary and fresh thyme.
  • This recipe makes two loaves of bread. I froze one by letting it cool completely once baked. Then, I wrapped tightly in foil and froze until needed.
{adapted from bbc food}

This Time One Year Ago:
february 2016: food + favourites!

This Time Two Years Ago:
green masala minced chicken.

This Time Three Years Ago:
jammy oat bars.

This Time Four Years Ago:
soft and crusty white bread loaf.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your fougasse!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

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