Sunday, 1 June 2014

Speedy Fougasse

I have been thinking about making fougasse for a long-long time, at least a couple of years, ever since I saw Richard Bertinet’ “Dough” book - I just knew I HAD to make it!! I don’t actually own the book, but I have rented it from a library so many times that I am sure that they think I own it :)

Seriously, photos in the book are just amazing, and recipes… well, what can I say about recipes – as far as I am concerned Richard is an absolute Bread God!! I am an absolute convert after watching his mixing and kneading video – and I am telling you its either some higher magic or some sort of voodoo! His technique of turning what seems like a mess of flour and water into a smooth ball of dough is nothing short of a miracle.

So as you are guessing I am a fan, a FUGE fan of Richard and his recipes, and I finally decided to give fougasse a go. I looked up a recipe online, and normally I wouldn’t mess with Richard’s recipe, but I was a bit tired and a bit short of time, so I decided to do a speedy version of it.  
Mr Ranty was serving chicken and mushroom pasta and I thought a nice fresh loaf of bread would go rather well with it.

Speedy Fougasse

450g white bread flour
50g wholemeal spelt flour
350ml warm water
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp fast acting yeast
1 tsp salt

The recipe talks about hand mixing for 10 minutes following Richard’s technique, but I only had a few minutes between babies dinner and bath time, so I chucked all of the ingredients in a standing mixer and set it off – 3 minutes on slow speed (KitchenAid speed 1), 3 minutes on medium speed (KitchenAid speed 2) and 1 minute on high speed (KitchenAid speed 3).

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and leave in a draft-free place for an hour – an hour and a half, until  it doubles in size. Cover your kitchen top generously with semolina flour (or semolina meal) and gently pour out the dough out of the bowl. Stretch gently, sprinkle some more semolina flour on top. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the dough onto the tray. Take care while doing that, as the dough will be very soft and very stretchy. Shape the dough into a triangle, using a dough cutter cut a long slash along the middle and three smaller slashes, diagonally, on each side. You are aiming for a tree kind of shape – line in a middle with tree “branches” going up. Once you did all the cutting, stretch the cuts out a bit, to achieve the traditional fougasse shape.
 Preheat the oven to 230C and bake fougasse for 12 minutes, leave it to rest for about half hour before tucking in.

I sprinkled some herbs on fougasse just before putting it in the oven, but I wouldn’t mind doing an olive version or even a sweet version, with cinnamon and brown sugar.

I always thought that fougasse it going to be all crust and dry in the middle, but its actually really soft crust with open chewy crumb.  It goes wonderfully with pasta, and just as good with some butter and honey with a cup of tea. Plus it keeps really well – it stays nice and soft the next day too, and I have enjoyed if with butter and jam with my morning coffee.

I tell you what, this is a bread I will be making again and again, it tastes great and it looks really impressive

1 comment:

  1. Very nice work, Ms MB. The recipe is just in time for using fresh herbs from the garden in my little patch of Kansas.

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