Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Herb Fougasse

Fougasse is the French sister to focaccia, and even pizza dough. It is generally light, carries flavours well, and is shaped in fun leaf, ladder, or herringbone designs. That makes it decorative, as well as fun and easy to rip pieces off for dunking. Fougasse is a perfect accompaniment for soup, or even salad.

Me, I just like ripping off a piece and stuffing it into my mouth. (Actually, stuffing bread into my mouth gives me the hiccups, but I find the cure for that to be.. more bread!)

Give this bread a try for your next lunch or dinner party, and if you are serving it with pasta - don't be afraid to throw a little garlic in the dough!
Herb Fougasse
adapted from World Breads, Paul Gaylor

675g bread flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
7g instant dry yeast
450mL warm water
75mL olive oil, plus more for brushing*
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp thyme
Coarse salt, for sprinkling*

Mix all ingredients (*except for the extra olive oil and coarse salt that is for the tops) in a stand mixer with the dough hook on low until combined. Turn to medium and mix for about 5 minutes. Adjust flour/water if necessary. Turn out on lightly floured board to form a ball.

Let rise, covered, for about 1½ hours or until doubled in bulk.

Divide into three, form each into an oval on the floured board. Roll each piece of dough out to about 2cm thick. Slash into a ladder, leaf, or herringbone shape and place on prepared sheet pans (lined with silpat or parchment, sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina).

Cover with tea towels and let rise for an hour.

½ an hour before baking, preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle withe coarse salt.

Bake for 15 minutes, rotate pans, and continue to bake until golden and crisp.