Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Fougasse, bread sticks and assessment bread

I haven't really had a lot of chance to do much baking in the last few weeks as I've been really busy. 
I've been booking another trip to Disneyland Paris with my pal Sofia, she's never been so she is 'foaming at the mouth' excited! So June can't come quicker enough!
More recently, I have booked myself a cupcake class at Primrose Bakery. I'm going this sunday which is Mother's Day but I'm decorating the cupcakes for mum and then taking her out for a lovely lunch afterwards. So watch this space! 
Other reasons why I haven't been as busy in the kitchen because I've been visiting family and trying to sort out my baking cupboard. 
There was quite alot of baking stuff to sort.
 But I am posting up a recipe. Yesterday, I passed my third pastry class assessment, with merit! I had to bake a flavoured loaf, which turned out so lovely and the smell was to die for! I also have a recipe her for fougasse and breadsticks which make good film night snacks. 
Penny's Assessment Fennel and Thyme Bread
Recipe: Penny's Assessment Bread aka fennel and thyme bread
·       500g strong flour
·       10g fresh yeast
·       10g salt
·       350ml warm water (plus a little extra)
·       1 tbsp fennel seeds
·       1tbsp fresh thyme
·       Bowl
·       Scraper
·       Sieve
·       Loaf tin lined with silicone paper
·       Tray filled with water

   1.    Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 9/475f/250c so that is very hot. Place the tray with warm water into the oven at this stage.
2.    Sieve the flour into the bowl and rub the fresh yeast into the flour. (Make sure that the salt doesn't make contact with the yeast.) Add the fennel seeds and fresh thyme at this stage.
3.    Add the salt and warm water, once the yeast has completely rubbed in.
4.    Using your scraper, mix the dough until smooth. It may need a little more warm water just add a little bit at a time so that its sticky but not wet.
5.    Remove from the bowl and place on work-surface (without flour on the surface). Fold the bread like this. Pick it up, slap it on the surface of the table and fold it over itself and repeat until it forms a smooth lovely dough. (It looks like it's gone wrong but trust me it works)
6.    Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to proof for about 30 minutes.
7.    The dough should have doubled in size. Lightly scrap the dough onto a work surface and knead it a little again. And fold it to shape it to fit the loaf tin.
8.    Proof again for another 30 mins.
9.    Turn the oven down to Gas Mark 7/425f/220c and bake for 20-25 minutes.

A fougasse is a leaf shaped bread which comes from France, however the taste is very similar to a focaccia. This is a 'sharing' bread, great for dipping with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 

Recipe: Fougasse and bread sticks
·       Semolina
·       Black Olives, chopped finely
·       Parmesan cheese, grated
·       A little thyme
·       Ingredients as above, leave out the fennel seeds
·       Baking tray lined with silicone paper x 2
·       Sieve
·       Scraper
·       Bowl
·       Rolling pin
·       Tray with warm water placed in the oven.
·       knife

1.    Prepare as above. Until step 5.
2.    Cut the dough into three using bread scraper. Roll 2 pieces of the dough into flat leaf shapes.
3.    Place the two leaves onto a baking tray and using a cut long line in the middle of the bread, and then cut 6 more slits on the side. This represents the veins of a leaf.
4.    Using the 1/3 of the dough, roll it into a flat oval shape, place the chopped olives, cheese and thyme into the middle of the dough and fold over.
5.    Then using a sharp knife cut strips of dough. So that each strip has a little filling in each.
6.    Twist the dough and place on the baking tray.
7.    Bake at Gas Mark 7/425f/220c for 20-25 minutes. 
I hope you all treat your mum's really well on her special day! 
Bake on! and Happy Mothers Day!
Bake On! Penny x
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