Fresh Herb Fougasse

  • 4 cups bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 pkg instant yeast 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for greasing and drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt to finish
  1. Lightly grease a mixing bowl with olive oil. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Put flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook. Be sure to keep salt and yeast separated. Add olive oil and three-quarters of the water (a little more than 1 cup), mix on a low speed. As the dough starts to come together, add the remaining water very slowly, then mix for eight minutes on a medium speed. Add thyme, sage, and rosemary and mix for a another minute. When ready, the dough will be very elastic and you should be able to stretch it away from the bowl.
  3. Place dough into the oiled container/bowl. Cover and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – about an hour. The dough should be bouncy and shiny.
  4. Dust the work surface with flour. Tip out the dough. It should be quite loose – it’s meant to be like this. Divide the dough in half.
  5. Lift a piece of dough onto the parchment covered baking sheet and spread out into flat oval. Make two cuts in a line down the middle of the dough with a gap between them. Use a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife. Then make 6 diagonal cuts on each side of the center cuts, forming a leaf design, stretch the dough out slightly to emphasize the cuts. Repeat for the second piece of dough
  6. Place the baking sheets inside large plastic bags and proof in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  8. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base (they took 25-30 minutes in my oven, you may need to adjust your time). Remove from the oven and while still hot, brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with the sea salt.
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