Well, actually we were supposed to make bread bowls. But Sally really wants this group to expand their abilities and provide us a successful way to learn the basics of bread baking.
Many of you know that I already love to bake bread and have had a lot of practice with artisan loaves. So, I wanted to try out her recipe but also play a little bit! As a result I did not bake the bowls but used a recent episode of “The Great British Baking Show” as part of my inspiration with this challenge.
Hubby and I have been watching the most recent season on Netflix, and in one episode the bakers made Fougasse bread for one of the technical challenges. Traditionally this bread is made with olives, but I detest olives! And, I had some leftover caramelized onions and roasted peppers from a pulled pork recipe earlier in the week (maybe you saw that sandwich on my Instagram?), so that was my flavor profile for the Fougasse.
I began with Sally’s bread bowl recipe which is a straight dough for the most part. I chose one of her recommended variations and added 2T of Italian seasonings.
The dough came together quite nicely.
The dough was left to prove and double in size. It was a hot day here in Tucson so this only took an hour!
The final weight was 2 lbs 12 oz or 44 oz total. As I said before, I wanted to play so I divided the dough into two equal portions, 22 oz each (or 1 lb 6oz.)
I added the caramelized onions and yellow peppers to one portion of the dough. The tricky part is getting them incorporated as they do have quite a bit of moisture. I just kept at it! I was careful to not over knead the dough as I did not want it to be too tough.
This was shaped into a rough (so very rough!) oval and the Fougasse cuts were made.
I left this to prove for a second time and turned my attention to the second portion of dough. I kept this one a little simple and just formed it into a long baguette. I then used a pair of scissors to make the leaf sections.
This also had to be set aside for its second proving.
Both types of bread needed a crunchy exterior so I did not use Sally’s egg wash and put them into a 400°F oven with steam. The results were pretty darn tasty!
One of my concerns was that the onions and peppers on the surface would burn, fortunately, that did not happen.
When we got inside it was baked through and retained the moisture from the vegetables, so it was not dry!
I was also pleased with the flavor and texture of the baguettes.
These froze well and made some wonderful sandwiches later in the week.
Overall, we liked both versions but really found the Fougasse to be extraordinary! My husband has not stopped talking about that one!
I do hope Sally continues with the bread challenges, my hubby hopes so too 🙂