Nature inspires, nature motivates, nature enlightens, and nature awakens. A trip to the hills last weekend was an exhilarating one. Pleasant weather, lovely landscapes dotted with wild flowers, grassy meadows, birds, and the mesmerizing views of the Himalayas made the trip a memorable one.
In the serene environs, the rhythm of the nature seems to connect with the inner self and it is a soul uplifting experience. You never seem to have enough of it.
These moments give the much required impetus to leave the chaos of the modern world, to embrace beauty and tranquility of nature, to be one with nature that has so much to offer, where there is so much to learn and evolve. The resolve just gets stronger after every trip.
A day before leaving for the hills, I baked Fougasse. Fougasse is the French version of the Italian foccacia bread. It is topped with herbs. Fougasse is flat bread that can be slashed to form shapes of a leaf or tree, or the slits can also be cut to form a lattice. This makes the bread easy to pull apart.
In French cuisine, fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat (source – Wikipedia)
My fougasse is inspired by nature. I am awed by the intricately shaped leaves in nature and am inspired to bake many more breads in obeisance to the great artist.
This is how I made Fougasse
Fougasse (With Whole Wheat flour)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 ¾ cup warm water (start with 1 cup; keep adding more according to need)
½ teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil and some more for oiling the bowl and brushing the bread
1 tablespoon corn meal
Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water.
Whisk together flours, salt and dried herbs (reserve some for sprinkling on top of the bread).
Add I cup flour mix to warm water, add oil and stir adding more water and ½ cup flour. Stir till a thick sticky dough forms.
Turn the dough onto a floured counter or a kneading plate. Add remaining flour. Add water if needed and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into an oiled bowl. Turn the dough so that it is coated with oil from all sides. Cover with an oiled cling film or a dishtowel and keep it to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
Punch the dough and knead it gently for 2-3 minutes. Shape into 1 ½ inch oval by stretching. Grease a baking tray. Sprinkle corn meal. Place the oval shaped dough onto the baking tray. Shape like a leaf tapering at the upper end. Make several slashes in the bread in the shape of mid veins and side veins. Use finger (dipped in oil) to stretch the slits and to get the right shape. Brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle the remaining herbs on top. Cover with a cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 210 degrees C. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Cool in the rack.
Enjoy warm fougasse with soup or stew.
Linking to Vegan Thursdays
Submitted for Yeastspotting