Fougasse with Roasted Vegetables
This stuffed Fougasse is utterly delicious. If you only make one Fougasse in your life, make sure it's this one!
Makes: 1 large loaf
Ingredients
For the Poolish
  • 165 g (6 oz) strong white flour
  • 165 g (6 oz) lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
For the dough
  • 310 g (11 oz) strong white flour
  • 160 g (6 oz) lukewarm water
  • 25 g (1 oz) rye flour (or strong white flour)
  • 1½ tsp salt
Example Filling
  • 1 large red pepper, deseeded and cut into wedges
  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
  • 6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
To finish
  • Olive oil
  • Mixed herbs
Instructions
Prepare the Poolish
  1. Add the yeast to the water, mix and leave for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  2. Mix the yeast/water with the flour to form a soft paste. Cover and leave for 2-3 hours at room temperature. The Poolish is ready when it has large bubbles in it and looks like it is about to collapse.
Prepare the Filling
  1. Place the sliced vegetables on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Brush the oil over the vegetables. Bake at around 200°C/400°F for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the vegetables to make sure they don't carbonise!
  3. Allow the vegetables to cool. Peel the peppers and garlic. Slice the peppers and coarsely chop the garlic.
  4. Place the roasted vegetables in a bowl, add the herbs, season with salt and pepper, then add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix well.
Prepare the dough
  1. Dilute the Poolish with the water and stir to produce a smooth liquid slurry.
  2. Mix together the flours and salt. Make a well in the centre and add the diluted Poolish. Mix well to a soft and sticky dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a surface and work it for 10-15 minutes. Once the dough comes together there is a special way to knead the dough which is shown on the video.
  4. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knock it back and spread it out into roughly a square about 1cm (½") thick.
  6. Put half the filling in a strip in the middle of the dough. Fold one side over to just cover the filling, then fold the remaining side over the first. Press the edges together.
  7. Put the remaining filling in the centre of the dough and as before fold over one side, then the other. Press the edges and seams together.
  8. Turn the dough over and shape into a neat parcel. Place on a well-greased baking tray, cover and leave to prove for about an hour.
  9. Drizzle on some olive oil and spread it over the dough.
  10. Cut three slashes through the dough on either side of the centre line. Pull the dough to open up the holes (see video).
  11. Cover once more and leave for 15 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle with mixed dried herbs and bake at 160°C/320°F fan oven, 180°C/360°F conventional oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
Notes
The rye flour adds an extra depth to the taste of the dough. If you don't use rye flour use an equivalent weight of wholemeal flour or white bread flour.

You can use any kind of roasted vegetables in this recipe to give a truly delicious bread. Break chunks off and dip in olive oil for a starter, or serve as an accompaniment to a stew such as Chicken Chasseur or Chicken Marengo.