Banner Photo – Fougasse Bread

I have had a lot of requests and interest about the bread in my banner photo.

I first found out about this bread as part of my product design and development unit in the second year of my degree. The class was split up into groups and each given a bread product to develop. My group was given Fougasse. We researched, came up with our own flavour combinations and designed our own shape and finished look for the product.

It is a French flat bread called fougasse and is a variation on the Italian foccacia. Fougasse was traditionally used to assess the temperature of a wood fired oven. The time it would take to bake, gave an idea of the oven temperature and whether the rest of the bread could be baked. One of the distinguishing characteristics of fougasse is that it’s often baked into a shape that is somewhat like a tree or leaf, with one end resembling the trunk and the wider opposite end being more or less round in structure, the holes represent the stems of the leaf. It’s a great snack bread, to eat on the run or as part of a meal.

Recipe
500g Strong white bread flour
300g Water
50g Olive oil
8g Yeast
10g Salt

Additions
Red onion
Olives
sun-dried tomatoes
Anchovies
Pepper
Chillies
Mozzarella
Goats cheese
Caramelised balsamic onions
Feta
Bacon
Capers
Rosemary
Thyme

The flavour combinations are endless and are great fun to play with. You could also try sweet additions.

Yield
4 at 220g
Oven temperature 200’c

Mix all the ingredients together till a dough is formed. I always use my kitchenaid with a dough hook on speed one for about 10 mins. If you are kneading by hand, once the ingredients are combined stretch and knead the dough for approximately 20 minutes until a soft dough is formed. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl to ferment for 1 hour, cover with cling film. After 40 minutes you need to knock back the dough. This is done to get rid of excess air bubbles. Push the dough a few times with your knuckles (like a light kneading) until it looks at it did before fermentation, cover and leave for the remaining 20 minutes.

Then scale at 220g (approx 250g if you have added many different ingredients). Mould into rounds and leave for a 10 minute intermediate prove. On a lightly floured surface using a rolling-pin ,roll out the dough to your chosen shape. Then with a sharp blade cut the dough and separate using your fingers to shape the holes. Place on a tray and prove for 25mins. Once proved bake in a preheated oven for 10-12mins. Remove from the oven when golden and leave to cool. Some bakers brush the finished bread with olive oil to add shine and flavour.

Bread baskets - they always look awesome

Enjoy
Peace and loaf 🙂

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