Most us know Focaccia but are less familiar with the French version Fougasse- clearly Italians are much better at marketing. Paul Hollywood featured this on the follow up GBBO masterclass programme and since I hadn’t made it previously I converted it to the Thermomix. I adapted the recipe from Hollywood’s How to Bake, substituting a mix of wholemeal and strong flour for just strong flour. I do like using the Hollywood large plastic bag method to prove – beware though, it can go a bit bonkers! This really is the simplest of breads and if you are not making it in a Thermomix just make sure you mix in a stand mixer with a dough attachment and mix for about 12minutes- yes, it needs to be very elastic.
Anyways, you’ll need
- 200g strong white bread flour
- 50g wholemeal bread flour
- 1 sachet (7g) instant yeast
- 5g salt
- 15ml olive oil
- 190ml water ( I use dried active yeast, so this has bubbled for 15 minutes in 120ml of warm water)
- Polenta (semolina) for dusting and dried herbs or seeds for finishing
Tip the flour, salt, yeast,(try to keep salt away from yeast), oil and 120ml of the water into TM bowl. Hollywood is not a fan of liquids being tepid (37°) as he says it artificially rushes the proving of the yeast. To be honest I always bring my liquids to tepid in the TM bowl but since I have been experimenting with Allinson’s dried active yeast I just tip the bubbling mix which is warmish into the bowl. I mixed though on dough setting for 4 minutes and had a peek through the lid towards the end and added the rest of the water as it was quite dry. I then gave it another minute dough setting. Tip out into a proving basket or container and cover or pop into a large plastic bag for an hour. It should have doubled in size.
Set oven to 220°C/450°F
Carefully tip out the dough onto a baking sheet sprinkled with polenta and shape into an oval. Avoid knocking all the air out, as you might in a traditional loaf. Make holes with a pizza cutter so that the final dough looks a bit like a holey leaf. I probably should have been more bold in pulling into bigger holes.
Set aside for 30 minutes in warmth of a plastic bag or under clean tea towel before Spraying lightly with olive oil and sprinkling with dried herbs or seed. I used sesame as I couldn’t find dried oregano as the recipe suggested.Bake for about 15 minutes. Tap to get that hollow baked sound. I cooked in top aga oven for 15 minutes.
This is a very easy tear and share loaf and rather attractive.