Fougasse is a French version of the ancient Roman panis focacius. It’s also the technical challenge in week 6 at GBBO. I love Botanical Week and I’ve made a Lemon meringue pie, as the signature challenge. It’s most likely I will make the Showstopper too, but let’s see if I have the time.
I’ve made this recipe in collaboration with Tesco. To make the Fougasse I used Tesco strong white flour, mixed with strong wholemeal flour I already had, organic, milled at a heritage mill belonging to the National Trust. I would have used Tesco wholemeal if I didn’t already have that one. I used Tesco flour before and I’m very happy with it. As for the oil, I used Tesco Organic Extra virgin olive oil, it’s great value for money. I grow herbs in my garden, so all the herbs were picked in the morning, fresh.
Ingredients for 2 Fougasse breads:
– 350g Tesco strong white flour
– 150g strong wholemeal flour
– 350 ml luke-warm water
– 8g yeast
– 2 spoons of Tesco Organic Extra virgin olive oil
– 1 spoon of fresh, chopped thyme
– 1 spoon of fresh, chopped rosemary
– 1 spoon of fresh, chopped chives
– 1 tsp of dried oregano
– 1 spoon of semolina
– oil to brush the breads (the same one)
If you use fresh herbs, start by washing them and leave them to dry. If they are too wet will add a little bit of water to the mixture.
Mix the two types of flour together, make a small well on a side and add the salt, cover it with flour. Make a well in the middle and put the yeast, the olive oil and the lukewarm water. Stir with a spoon a couple of times. Using your hands or a handmixer with the dough hooks, start to make the dough. You can use a standing mixer if you have one. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, then add the herbs and knead for another minute. The dough is wet, so I would say it’s better to knead with the mixer.
Put the dough into a plastic container that was oiled, so the dough doesn’t stick to the sides. Cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubles in size.
Mix a spoon of flour with the semolina and spread it on the worktop. When the dough has risen, tip it on the floured worktop. Cut the dough in half. Put half of the dough on a baking paper and, using a pizza cutter, make two cuts in the middle and 6 cuts on each side, so it resembles a leaf. Stretch the dough a little bit, so the holes are more visible.
Leave the dough to rise for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 220 C or 200 C fan. Brush olive oil on top of the breads and sprinkle the dried oregano on top. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until it’s golden brown. If you tap the base, it should sound hollow. Take the breads out of the oven. If you like, brush more olive oil when the breads are still hot.
I loved making Fougasse. It’s light and it has an amazing texture.