After much anticipation, here it is. My first work of bread art. I call it, The Alien.
Having watched The Boyfriend play Left 4 Dead night after night, this looks like something a fat zombie would spit at you. It was a bit of an accident on my part of course. I couldn't slide the painstakingly worked dough onto my 'baking stone' (a scaldingly hot upturned baking tray), so I had to
Thankfully, the next batch was much better.
The fougasse made a really nice centrepiece on the dinner table. Especially since it was Mother's Day in the UK and we were trying to impress with a homemade four-course dinner. Lovely with soup or with extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar, it was funny watching everyone dusted with flour when they were finished eating. (sorry)
I'm really pleased my first bread project has gone so well (OK, failed ciabatta from two weeks ago don't count. It was a bread mix). I went from nervous to smug as I turned a sticky blob into a smooth bouncy ball. I never expected it to be so gratifying! For someone of my calibre, it took me only half an hour of traditional kneading and folding –– 25 minutes too long. With back bent and arms aching from slapping the dough over and over again on the kitchen table, it wasn't easy work, but so worth it when warm rays of sunshine were streaming into the kitchen. I felt like an Italian mama making bread in her airy Tuscan kitchen. Just not sure I want to do this every weekend yet!
This recipe from Richard Bertinet's 'Dough'.