The Italian’s call is Focaccia, the French call it Fougasse, the English call it Flat Bread….. I call it Fantabulicious!
I absolutely love baking bread and I’m on a bit of a craze at the moment… I shall not be stopped! Experimenting with flavours, style, shape and ingredients, this is a surprisingly easy and versatile recipe.
I really like the addition of extra virgin olive oil, creating a warm colour and flavour.
I’ve stuck to a pretty plain version of fougasse, sprinkling a generous amount of herbs before baking. I used Herbes de Provence which comprises of rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, savory and marjoram. Of course you can use just about any sort of herb you like.
My next batch will definitely have olives and sun dried tomatoes in…. maybe a dash of red onion as well… mmmmmmmm… I love french bread.
Fougasse (makes 4 breads)
450g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp fast action dried yeast
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
280ml hand-hot water (you may need a little more, depending on your dough)
flour or semonlina, for dusting
Herbes de Provence (You can use any herb preferred)
- Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 tbsp of olive oil and the water. Mix to form a soft dough
- Turn out on an unfloured surface and knead for around 10 minutes until silky smooth
- Place in an oiled sandwich bag and prove in a warm place for around 45 minutes (until doubled in size)
- Grease two baking trays and dust with flour or semolina
- Knock back the dough until all the air has been dispelled and divide into four equal pieces. Roll out into long oval shapes and place two on each baking tray
- Make two short cuts down the centre of each, leaving space in between. Then make 3 diagonal cuts on either side of the middle, presenting a leaf effect.
- Flour you finger and run it around each cut to enhance the slit and ensure it does not close up when proved
- Cover and leave to prove for around 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees
- Drizzle the breads with the remaining oil and sprinkle over your chosen herbs. Bake for around 15-20 minutes until golden (when the bottom is tapped the bread should sound hollow)