I treated myself to this book a few weeks ago which accompanies this year's Bake Off series. It mostly consists of recipes by Linda Collister but it does feature some recipes from the contestants and a handful of "Judges Recipes" too. Hey... call me Sherlock but I have deduced that all the Judges recipes are actually the technical bakes from the show.
So armed with this knowledge, in my quest to bake all of this year's technical challenges, I tackled this week's challenge, to bake two fresh herb Fougasse, on Wednesday afternoon several hours before the show aired. It was a bit of a guess that this would actually be the technical bake this week... but my guesswork paid off.
I used my stand mixer to knead the dough as it was very soft and sticky to begin with but not too difficult to work once it got going.
You can find Paul Hollywood's recipe here. I didn't have fresh thyme so used some dried herbs with my fresh Sage and Rosemary... I don't think it made that much difference. Other than that I pretty much stuck to the recipe and made it within the time given. For once the contestants had enough time.
It smelled really wonderful as it baked. The eagle eyed among you will have spotted I only made five cuts up the side of the "leaf" not the six specified. No doubt I would have lost marks for that
But it didn't effect the flavour! If I made it again I would probably increase the amount of herbs as I was fairly cautious but other than that it was pretty good. I fancy trying some herbs in a sweet bake too after seeing that Jenny had successfully used basil in her strawberry cake. My mind does tend to go off on tangents...I was reading this article about Jo Malone after having signed up for email updates from The Business Bakery. I'd not heard of The Business Bakery before,which doesn't really have anything to do with baking but is a source of advice for small "kitchen table" businesses. Having read about it on Planet Penny I was intrigued and have already discovered several interesting and possibly useful articles. But I digress... reading about Jo Malone I started to wonder if someone with a good nose for putting fragrances together would have a similar talent for putting flavours together. And when I read about her lime,basil and mandarin fragrance I remembered Jenny's basil cake and thought that if these three things smell great together maybe they would taste great together too. Watch this space!
Anyway... back to the fougasse... I took one along to our book club meeting last night to tear and share... there were certainly no complaints and I didn't bring any home so I guess it was a success.
Once again, as well as completing my own challenge to complete all the technical bakes, I'm also joining in with Jenny of Mummy Mishaps for the Great Bloggers Bake Off.