A French bread very much like the Italian focaccia. I had never eaten fougasse and certainly never made one until now: the 2017 campaign focuses on this style of loaf. Easier to make for the first timer and no pans required!

I am baking two loaves from one piece of dough: a regular fougasse and this one – the bacon & red onion. The ingredients for the basic dough:

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 350ml water
  • 5g fast action yeast
  • 10g fine salt
  • 50ml olive oil

For the filling/flavouring:

  • 50g streaky bacon, diced (for this loaf I use dry cured pork belly chunks)
  • One large red onion, finely chopped
  • Olive oil

Combine the dough ingredients and form into a ball. Leave to one side for an hour while you sweat down the onion and bacon lardons until soft: allow to cool right down. Divide the rested dough in half and knead until nine n smooth. Roll out one piece and cover with the bacon and onions. Knead lightly to incorporate. Leave for half an hour.

Left: prep the bacon & onion. Top Right: combined dough and filling. Bottom Right: rolled and slashed.

 Get the oven up high @230°c and prepare your fougasse for its final stage. You now must make the flattened dough resemble an ear of wheat (not joking for once). Make a cut (excluding the very ends) right through from north to south and widen it with fingers if necessary. Then make three diagonal cuts on each side of the central cut…

Skeletor hated his new nose-job

Yeah, well we all have to do something for the first time, haven’t we? If you’re happy with the final shaping then get it in the oven for approximately 20 minutes (remember: a flat bread bakes much quicker than other loaves).

For my first attempt I cannot complain. A chewy and well flavoured bread that is good to eat warm either on its own or with creamy cheese. The bacon hit is particularly satisfying. As for the regular fougasse?

Again, not bad. Method the same as for bacon & onion (minus bacon & onion) 🙂 Lots more to come for Real Bread Week so come back to BBBB and be amazed.

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