Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Fougasse Night!

There is something wrong with our TV.  It has football on it.  So I spent a lovely time having a go at one of the recipes in my new bread book. It's "Dough" by Richard Bertinet who has his bakery and runs classes in nearby Bath.

Here's the recipe.  In the opening pages he describes (with pics) how to slap and thump the basic dough.  There's also a very useful DVD with the book and you can see it thanks to you tube here.
I found slapping and thumping the basic dough a bit of a faff in comparison with my earlier breads made using James' Morton's Brilliant Bread book where you weigh out 4 things, mix them up and stick it all in the fridge overnight.  It took a good 20 mins of thwumping to get my dough looking like Richard's and the violence of the activity moved the kitchen table halfway across the kitchen.  Once it was made and rested for 1 hour and the table had been restored to its usual position, I shaped the dough like in the book.  Sort of.
 I made half the quantity of the recipe so had three lumps of dough to shape.
 You're supposed to slide the shape onto a pre-heated tray in the oven, and mist inside the oven with a water spray.  When I slid my dough onto the tray it lost it's shape and went wonky but I think it has a bready charm.  I didn't have a water spray so I threw a quarter cup of water onto the floor of the oven.  Seemed to work.  
My second and third attempts were more successful.  With these I didn't slide onto the heated tray, I placed the metal tray I'd shaped the dough on straight onto the heated tray in the oven.  One thing worth saying is that although I said the slapping of the dough took a while, it was absolutely worth it because this is the nicest bread I've made.  If I'd bought one of these from a bakery I'd be really happy with it!  However, as Himself pointed out, they're not going to make very good sandwiches.  

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