Bless Mr E, my husband, he sits alongside me every Wednesday evening watching the baking antics in the Great British Bake Off tent. Although he doesn't watch it quite as intently as I do, he will still pass the occassional comment about something being a great bake and who he thinks deserves to be awarded star baker or even who he thinks is ready to go home.
Following each and every episode I will ask him what bake he thinks I should tackle for my Great Bloggers Bake Along attempt. Invariably we both come to the same decision about what bake, or even bakes, the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen should whip up. This week was different though. The signature challenge of citrus meringue pie, which sang like an angel to me, didn't appeal to Mr E due to his dislike of meringue. (I know! How can this be!) His taste buds lay with us trying Paul's herby fougasse. So some baking multi-tasking was required this week to accomodate both of our likes. A herby fougasse dough with rosemary and thyme was set aside to proove whilst I whipped up the thyme pastry for our (or rather my) Lemon Meringue Pie.
Now, our Fougasse with Rosemary and Thyme doesn't actually refer to the crime drama series staring Felicity Kendal and Pam Ferris (lol), but rather the fresh herbs which work so well together in this delicious bread. The recipe itself comes from this year's GBBO recipe book, At Home, and lists rosemary, thyme and sage as the principal flavours. Not being a big fan of sage in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen our fougasse bread was made with just the two herbs, rosemary and thyme. The other alteration made to Paul Holywood's Fougasse recipe was to reduce the quantity. His recipe created a dough which was sufficient to make two fougasse breads, but being only a small household we clearly had no need for such an amount, especially as the original recipe suggested the bread is 'best served warm, as soon as possible.'
It's been a number of months since I last made a 'proper' bread which required kneading. Due to a wrist problem, which limits the amount of pressure I can put through the joint without pain, we have been relying on no-knead bread and no-knead rosemary and garlic focaccia as well as shop bought loaves. Happily, because the fougasse dough is quite loose and soft it's easy to work, and although that can mean the dough tends to be a little messy during the kneading process, the flour gradually absorbs more water making it less sticky and naturally 'cleans' your hands. Of course it's even easier to make in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment!
So, let's get to it and bake!
flavour packed bread with characteristic slashes, is easy to make
resulting in a delicious bread perfect for tearing and sharing. This
recipe sees the dough flavoured with fresh herbs of rosemary and thyme.
Hands on time: 20 - 25 mins Cook time: 15 - 20 mins Yield: 1 Fougasse
Plastic Container (2L volume)
Flat Baking Tray
- 250g Strong White Bread Flour + extra for dusting
- 5g Fine Sea Salt
- 5g Fast Action Dried Yeast
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil + extra for drizzling
- 175g Warm Water
- 1 tsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped + few extra full leaves to finish
- 1 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves, finely chopped
- Fine Semolina for dusting