FOUGASSE Makes 1 large fougasse
This is delicious on its own but even better topped with onions and herbs, or salty anchovies and lardons. As with the bagels (left), you’ll need to begin this the day before baking it.
For day one (the poolish)
50g water 2g fresh yeast 50g strong white bread flour For day two
250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting 20g wholegrain flour A pinch of rye flour (8g) 5g fine sea salt 2g fresh yeast 160g water Polenta, for dusting Olive oil, for brushing Optional toppings: herbs, sliced red onions, lardons, anchovies
The day before you want to bake the fougasse, make the poolish. Put the water and yeast in a bowl and mix with your fingers or a fork until the yeast has dissolved. Add the flour and stir until fully combined. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge overnight.
Next day (day two), uncover the poolish. It will have risen, be bubbly and have a slightly alcoholic aroma.
Put the flours and salt in a large bowl and loosely combine. Make a well in the centre. In another bowl, stir the yeast and water together until dissolved.
Add the poolish and the yeast and water mixture to the well in the flour, making sure you get all the yeast and liquid out of the bowl. Bring together with one hand until just combined, then transfer to a floured work surface. Keep the bowl to one side.
Use the heel of your hand to push the dough into the work surface and “stretch and tear”, as in the bagel recipe (left), for about 8 minutes. Scrape the dough back into the bowl you used earlier.
Fold the dough. Pick it up by two corners and pull to stretch it upwards, then fold over to the opposite side (so the first two corners meet the opposite two corners). Next, pick up the bottom two corners and repeat, then do the same with the right and left hand sides. Turn the dough over, so the bottom becomes the top, and leave to rest in the bowl, covered with cling film, for 30 minutes. Give the dough three more folds, and rest covered in the bowl for 30 minutes each time. After the final fold, leave for 30 minutes.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a round. Place on a floured baking tray, cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Next pat and pull your dough to form a leaf shape about 20x25cm, taking your time so as not to rip the dough. Use a knife to cut two slashes lengthways in the middle of the leaf, then make four slashes on either side of the central cuts. Pick up the dough and give it a little shake, then lay it on a polenta-lined tray. Pull the dough out to widen the slashes, then brush with olive oil and scatter over your toppings, if using. Leave to prove, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to the highest temperature. Check the dough to see if the slashes have started to close up; if so, gently pull them apart. Bake for 12 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.