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Fougasse

  • makes 6

Try our best fougasse recipe, a moreish white loaf slashed to resemble an ear of wheat. This Provençal flat loaf is the much-loved French equivalent of focaccia.

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Ingredients

  • fresh yeast or easy blend dried yeast ½ tsp
  • strong white bread flour 500g
  • salt 10g
  • water 350g
  • maize flour or white flour for dusting 200g

Method

  • Step 1

    Rub the fresh yeast into the flour using your fingertips as if making a crumble, or stir in the dried yeast. Add the salt and water.

    Hold the bowl with one hand and mix the ingredients around with the other (or use the rounded end of a scraper) for 2-3 minutes until the dough starts to form. Begin to work the dough.

  • Step 2

    Once you have worked your dough you can flour your work surface lightly, place the dough on top and form it into a ball by folding each edge in turn into the centre of the dough and pressing down well with your thumb, rotating the ball as you go.

    Turn the whole ball over and stretch and tuck the edges under. Rest in bowl in a warm place under a tea towel until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oven to 250c/fan 230/gas 10 (or as high as your oven will go) an hour in advance and put in a baking stone, flat baking sheet or upturned roasting tin. Flour your work surface well.

    Use the rounded end of a scraper to release the dough, so that you can scoop it out easily in one piece and transfer it to the work surface without stretching it.

    Be careful not to deflate the dough but spread it out to cover a square of your work surface. Generously flour the top.

  • Step 4

    Using the flat edge of your scraper, cut the dough into two rectangles, and then cut each piece into three rectangular pieces.

    Handle the dough as gently as you can so that it stays as light and full of air as possible. Keep the pieces well floured.

  • Step 5

    Take one piece of dough and use the flat edge of your scraper to make a large diagonal cut across the centre, making sure that you don’t go right to the edges but cut all the way through on to your work surface.

    Make three smaller diagonal cuts fanning out on each side of the central one. Gently open out the slits to form holes. Be bold.

  • Step 6

    Lift onto a flat-edged baking tray and slide onto the hot baking stone or tray. Do this quickly to avoid letting heat out.

    Turn the oven down to 230c/fan 210/gas 8 and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 399
  • Carbs 88.7g
  • Protein 12.9g
  • Fat 1.6g
  • Salt 1.67g
  • Saturates 0.2g
  • Fibre 3.6g
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