I love to make bread. I mean love love love. I’m lucky enough to have traveled around quite a lot and try lots of different breads. Overall, and I know i’m biased, but I’ve found the best breads in Europe. Think German Pretzels and French Baguettes.

For me, making bread isn’t as easy as picking up a recipe book and going “I’ll make that one today”. Not because a don’t have the time or ingredients, I could find both of those things, but because one of my housemates used to live in Italy. Yep, bla bla bla, lucky him, we all hate him for it.

Since I usually cook for him, I try really hard to avoid making Italian things. I know this is a great opportunity for me to learn, but I chose not to take it and sulk instead. I feel like i’m secretly being judged! I probably am.

Hankering for some ciabatta the other day, i picked up my trust Paul Hollywood cook book. The next recipe after Ciabatta was Fougasse, a french version of ciabatta! Perfect! If he turned his nose up and told me it was better in Italy, I could tell him “well this isn’t Italian bread, stupid face!”. Or you know, something less passive aggressive.

I’m glad i chose to bake something i’d never even heard of, because it was real winner recipe. Crunchy and light, nicely flavoured with oregano, and look how pretty it is! Okay so the one in the book looked better, but i’m still proud.

The recipe was easy and as it’s quite small bread (as it’s flat), I think it would be easily doubled to make 2. I probably should have, it disappeared in minutes.

Fougasse Bread Recipe

Yields 1

Ingredients For Fougasse Bread Recipe

  • 250g strong flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 5g salt
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml room temperature water
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano

Instructions For Fougasse Bread Recipe

  • Put the flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Do not put the salt and yeast directly together.
  • Add the olive oil and 3/4 of the water. Begin to mix until the dough comes together and add the remaining water slowly.
  • Mix for 6-8 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is elastic.
  • Oil a bowl. Place the dough into the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel.
  • Leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • After an hour dust your work surface with flour.
  • Tip the dough out onto the surface. Do not knock it back, but try and keep as much air in the dough as possible.
  • Flatten into a large oval. Using a pizza cutter, cut 5cm cuts into the dough to form a leaf style pattern. Stretch dough to emphasise the holes.
  • Pre heat the oven to 220C
  • Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover in cling film and leave to rise for a further half hour.
  • Sprinkle the oregano over the dough and trickle with olive oil.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Eat warm.

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