20 Sept 2015

Fougasse Recipe


I've overdosed on holidays this year and have just come back from a lovely motoring holiday taking in the Lake District and Scotland where I came across some amazing independent bakery shops.

Now back home and refreshed I rolled up my sleeves and made Fougasse which is crisp on the outside, light within and is lovely for tearing up and eating with a bowl of soup. I've also been making tiger/giraffe bread recently but the crust can be a bit stubborn to achieve the perfect look and as yet mine still isn't blog worthy.

This is my first attempt at shaping a Fougasse and I found a pizza cutter really useful for cutting the slits of the leaves. My shaped bread isn't perfect but nevertheless it was fun to make and tastes great. I love the way the fan in my oven has moved the flour and semolina around the tray and created it's own unique pattern.

I'd definitely recommend using a stand mixer for this because it's an extremely wet mixture, I know many bakers like to make bread by hand and this one will keep you occupied for ages!

As much as I love my breadmaker this mixture won't form a successful dough because this is a very wet mixture.

Makes: 4 large or 6 small

500g strong white flour
350ml warm water
1 sachet easy blend yeast
10g salt
Fine semolina for shaping and dusting

1. Tip the flour into the bowl of a mixer. Add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other side. Using the dough hook and on a slow speed, gradually add the water to form a soft wet dough.  Knead in a stand mixer for 10 minutes.
2. Oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl, cover with a shower cap and leave to rise for an hour until double in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
4. Place the risen dough gently onto a lightly floured board and cut the dough into six.
5. Dust a large tray with semolina and flour. Take one of the pieces of dough, place onto the tray and dust with semolina and flour. Shape gently into a leaf shape. Using a pizza cutter make a series of cuts to form a leaf design. Stretch out the holes to help prevent them closing up whilst baking.
6. Leave to rise for 20 minutes covered with a tea towel.
7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until crisp and golden.
8. The remaining pieces of dough can be wrapped individually in clingfilm and frozen.  Defrost in the fridge, shape and bake as above.

4 Sept 2015

Orange Drizzle Cake with Caramelised Zest

Iced Orange Drizzle Cake with Caramelised Zest
Iced Orange Drizzle Cake
I love mini cakes, it saves ploughing through a large cake and I like that one cake can be drizzled with icing and eaten on the day it's made, the others I place into the freezer. These days the cakeometer dictates that I can no longer eat as many slices of cake all on one day as I did in my teenage years.

Interestingly the majority of cakes improve whilst they're in the freezer because it gives them a chance to take in moisture, so if you ever make a cake and it seems on the dry side either leave it in a container (not airtight) for a few days, or pop it in the freezer.

Orange Drizzle Mini Loaf Cake Topped with Caramelised Zest
The cakes can be successfully frozen at this stage
Makes: 4 Mini Loaf Cakes 15cm x 8cm approx - I bought my loaf tins from Lakeland.

For the cake:
100g caster sugar
115g softened butter
115g self raising flour
2 large eggs beaten
2 tbsp sour cream

For the caramelised orange zest:
100g caster sugar
rind of 1 orange removed with a citrus zester
Juice of 1 orange

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Line the mini loaf tins with baking parchment.
3. Tip 100g caster sugar into a small saucepan, add the orange juice and rind of the orange which has been removed using a citrus zester.  Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then simmer rapidly for a minute, being careful that the liquid doesn't evaporate.  Leave on one side whilst you make the cakes.
4. For the cake. Add the butter and caster sugar to a large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually to the batter whilst continuously beating. Fold the flour and sour cream into the batter.
5. Dollop the mixture equally between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked through. A wooden cocktail stick inserted into the cake should come out clean when they are baked.
6. Remove the tins from the oven, poke the cakes all over with a skewer, pour over the syrup and zest.
7. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins, remove and leave as they are (they can be frozen at this stage) or drizzle icing over.