Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Tomato and Herbes de Provence Fougasse

I learnt to make this at my wonderful baking and patisserie courses in Paris on the 6th and 8th of August. I think this is some of the best bread I have EVER eaten, so I tried to reproduce it last night for a bunch of friends I had round. It turned out really well, and the only change that I would make would be to add in more herbs.

Unfortunately the pictures are only from my courses as I completely forgot to take any pictures yesterday when I was baking. They looked, oh I don't know, almost the same.

You need:

500g / 18oz cold water from the tap
30g / 1 oz fresh yeast, or 2 (7g) bags of dry yeast (No Fleischman, yes SAF, Red Star, Francine)
60g / 2oz extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tomato purée (or to taste)
2 tbsp dried herbes de provence
800g / 28 oz all-purpose flour
30g / 1 oz salt

Whisk together the salt and flour.
In a separate bowl (use a stand-up mixer for this if you have one) combine the water and yeast at a low-speed with the oil, herbs, tomato purée, and 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Ensure the flour is well absorbed into this mixture before gradually incorporating the rest of the flour and salt mixture. Once well combined, switch to the dough hook and continue mixing for approximately 5 minutes. The dough should be sticky and elastic.

Line a large baking tray (preferably with sides about 1-inch high) with a parchment paper, then brush olive oil over the paper. Scrape the dough onto the paper, oil your hands really well then spread the dough to fit the tray. Don't worry if it doesn't fit perfectly! Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour to rise. When doubled in volume and spongy, press cherry tomato halves into the dough, sprinkle with more herbs or black pepper, and bake for 20 minutes (or until golden) at 225C / 430F. If you find that it starts browning too fast, lower the oven temperature to 200C / 400F

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting up and serving.

Now to go devour some of the remains of my own fougasse. See you later!

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