For week 6 of the bake off, bread week, we went with Paul Hollywood’s herby fougasse!
So, again for the second week in a row we have gone with the technical. And apart from our prior knowledge and what we saw on the show we have made this our own way… thrown the instructions away and just gone with the ingredients…
First in a stand mixer attached with the dough hook, we added the flour, oil, yeast and salt (on seperate sides of the bowl, you don’t want the salt to touch your yeast). We then added the ALL the water and turned the mixer on medium speed. We added all the water rather than keeping back any in case it gets too wet, because people on GBBO have done that countless times and Paul complains when they don’t follow his recipe. After all he knows best!
Once combined we then turned the mixer on high and let it knead itself for 5-10 mins rather than all the effort kneading it by hand! At the last minute we added the finely chopped fresh herbs and kneaded it slightly by hand till it was a nice smooth dough.
We tipped the dough into an oiled bowl, covered in cling film and let prove for about an hour or till doubled in size.
Once proved we tipped the dough out onto the surface which we dusted lightly with semolina and flour. Gently cut the dough into two equal halves and stretched them into rectangular/ oval type shapes on two baking trays. Here we already knew what cuts to do from watching the show so everything was easy (ish). Covered the two fougasse in cling film for the second prove… about 30 mins. We didn’t notice a fat lot of difference here at all, but it’s a flat bread so we weren’t looking for much of a rise???
Lastly we brushed the fougasse with a little extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano and sea salt. Then we baked at 200c for approx 20mins until the base looked brown and slightly crisp!
- 500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g/¼ fine salt
- 7g sachet instant yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling
- 350ml/12fl oz warm water
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra to finish
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
- fine semolina, for dusting
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- sea salt flakes, crushed, to finish
- Grease a large plastic container with a little olive oil. Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone paper.
- Put the flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Don’t put the salt directly on top of the yeast). Add the olive oil and three-quarters of the water. Begin mixing on a low speed. As the dough starts to come together, add the remaining water very slowly, then mix for another 8 minutes on a medium speed. Add the rosemary, sage and thyme and mix for a minute until the herbs are evenly distributed in the dough. When ready, the dough will be very elastic and you should be able to stretch it away from the bowl.
- Tip the dough into the oiled container. Cover and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – about an hour. The dough should be bouncy and shiny.
- Mix equal quantities of white flour and semolina together and use to heavily dust the work surface. Carefully tip out the dough. It will be quite loose and flowing, but don’t worry. Divide the dough in half.
- Lift each piece of dough onto the prepared baking sheets and spread out into flat ovals. Using a pizza cutter make two cuts in a line down the middle of the ovals with a gap between them, stopping 2cm/1in from each end. Then make 12 diagonal cuts in the dough, 6 either side of the central cuts, forming a leaf design, then stretch the dough out slightly to emphasise the holes.
- Place the baking sheets inside large plastic bags and leave to prove in a warm place for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
- Spray a little olive oil over the top of the loaves using a water spray bottle, or just drizzle over the oil. Sprinkle over the oregano and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and while still hot, brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with the sea salt.