• Mad Hatter

Who’ll be making 'boogasse' this Halloween?

This is actually a Fougasse recipe and it's a fun baking activity with kids at this time of year.

Like focaccia, and other flatbreads found across southern and eastern Europe, this loaf (often associated with Provence) takes its name from the Latin word for hearth, where it would once have been baked.


I’ve kept mine plain, but you can throw in a handful of chopped pitted olives, ham, cheese or herbs, in whatever combination you fancy. You can also drizzle yours with plain or herb-infused olive oil just before and/or after they are baked.


Ingredients - Makes: 2 or 3 loaves


Preferment 300g white bread flour 275g water 2.5g dried yeast


The Dough 350g white bread flour 250g water 2g fresh yeast 50g olive oil 5g salt


(You can also throw in a handful of chopped pitted olives, ham, cheese or herbs, in whatever combination you fancy.)


Method

Mix the pre-ferment ingredients together, cover and leave at room temperature for 12 hours overnight, or until bubbling vigorously.


The next day, add the dough ingredients to the pre-ferment and knead (“work to an even consistency” is probably a better term, as it’s so sloppy) until you have a smooth, silky, stretchy dough that is very soft but no longer sticky. You may find that this dough is easier to make using a stand mixer with a dough hook.


Cover the dough and give it a series of single folds after 30, 60 and 90 minutes, then leave to rise for a further 2½–3½ hours, or until it’s puffed up and has huge bubbles coming to the surface.


Dust the work surface well with flour and using an oiled dough scraper, turn the dough out carefully, trying not to knock out too many of the bubbles you have (well, the yeast has) worked hard to make. Divide the dough into two or three equal-size pieces, gently shape intoan oval about 1.5cm thick.


Using your dough scraper (or knife), cut angled slots in the middle of the dough to make 'face like' spooky patterns (see photo) and open these out slightly. Repeat with the remaining dough.


Cover and leave to prove for 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 250°C (230°C fan) / gas mark 9, or as high as it will go, ideally with a baking stone or baking sheet in place.


Using a well-floured peel, slide each fougasse onto a baking stone, then immediately turn the oven down to 220°C (200°C fan) / gas mark 7. Bake for 10–15 minutes until golden, then leave on a rack to cool.


Enjoy!


Please note: The salt content has deliberately been kept low, to ensure that children aren't having too much in their diet - but can always add more if you prefer 😀




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