Baking | Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … and a focaccia too #comfortfood #vegetarian #bread

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!”
James Beard

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar FougasseWhole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … nothing can be as comforting as the smell of bread baking. Nothing! And this bread took me by surprise. Rustic, nutty, earthy, full of flavour, great texture and a good bite. I couldn’t ask for anything more in fresh bread, and fougasse is one of my all time favourites.

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Googling for whole wheat focaccia took me to a NY Times feature by Martha Rose Shulman. Recipes for health as it was aptly marked, Shulman says of this bread “What’s called focaccia in Italy is fougasse in Provence. Fougasse, though, is often shaped like a leaf, which is easy to do and very pretty. The nutty, toasty whole grain bread is irresistible.”Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse I couldn’t agree more. If you’ve visited my blog on and off, you might have noticed my love for the French Fougasse. I love the rustic appeal it offers and the fact that you can stuff it with pretty much whatever you like and the flavours call your name. Roasted bell peppers, gouda, fresh herbs, nuts etc. Leaf like in appearance, this flatbread is moorish!

Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse

French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 6The one on top is a  Millet & Whole Wheat Fougasse and below it the French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse It was just the therapy I needed this Monday! The day began like a nightmare! Broken toilet flush 6am. Reversed the car to drop the kids to school and heard a massive THUD! 7am … The engine underplate had broken while wading through the ‘rivers of North India‘ the previous night. When it rains, it really pours; the city was flooded! Thankfully got the kids out of my way and to school, to come back home to find I had run out of cooking gas! {Yes we still have cylinders}. Decided to spring clean and walked straight into a sharp corner which narrowly missed my eye. Blood poured down the side of my face! Mr PAB was in Hong Kong … and I could have wept!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Bravely I did not! I decided to bake bread instead! What a good decision. Nothing like some yeasty dough to drown your sorrows into. It worked like magic. And the recipe came out amazingly good! I could visualize the bread loving younger teen take a deep happy breath as he entered home from school. “You’ve made bread!!”, he’d exclaim, stars in his eyes!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse That is enough to mend a bad day! What I didn’t visualise was how much the dieting diva, carb cutting daughter would love it. I made half of the dough into fougasse and saved the rest for another day {it refrigerates well for a day or two}. With garlic flavouring the dough beautifully, and walnuts and cheddar making it divine, the bread was history as soon as the teens got home!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Recipes like this are seriously therapeutic. I forgot about the car, fixed the broken loo, got the gas going. Left the car for Mr PAB. He would come back and take over everything! I was born to bake, and I was loving it!! The smell of dough rising and bread baking is enough to make the soul happy! 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse With the good verdict on the fougasse, I pulled the remaining dough out of the fridge the next day and patted a focaccia into shape. That came out yummy too. Got stuffed with everything I had on hand, ending up as sandwich for dinner.Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Focaccia

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Bread Baking | French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella … #fortheloveofbread

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”
Robert Browning

French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & MozarellaBread we love! French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella … one of the most satisfying, indulgent and ‘would sell like hot cakes’ breads I’ve made ever since I’ve got back into bread baking mode! There’s been a bread baking frenzy of sorts and the net seems  knee deep in dough!French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella I switched into bread baking mode with wonderful wonderful Ottolenghis focaccia and there’s been little looking back. That was a most excellent bread to bake … deep, rustic, complex flavours. The stamp of Ottolenghis culinary brilliance!! It must have been more than a coincidence to find Jamie in Nantes baking focaccia too … whihc is how I walked into the Twelve Loves Challenge. What is that? Simply said, an event  ‘for the love of bread‘!

I missed their August challenge but looks like carbs all the way this month and the bread monster is alive and kicking yeast on PAB! The September Twelve Loaves Challenge calls for Bread with Cheese; for me it meant baking French Fougasse stuffed with cheesy goodness, a bread we LOVE at home.French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella

In French cuisine, fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found (with variations) in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat.

I’ve baked this often, always with fresh yeast and plain flour. This time though, with carbs threatening an overdose, I did a tiny substitution with whole wheat flour and used instant yeast. I also literally stuffed the dough, almost making it a more like a baked sandwich than bread. It was delicious … and disappeared soon! I didn’t have Gouda so used mozzarella instead. Any cheese is good and mozzarella was great … warm, stringy, flavourful, cheesily indulgent.French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella You could always halve the cheese but mine had a good dose ‘For the Love of Bread’ of course! Bread with Cheese Twelve Loaves is kneadlessly hosted by my sweet baker friends – Jamie @ Life’s a Feast, Lora @ Cake Duchess and Barb @ Creative Culinary. They are immensely talented ladies, inspirational too.Sourdough breadAlongside, the very viral FB group on CAL took off and we voted for a bread baking event … it was time to Tame The Yeast Beast. A lot of bread talk took place – dough ‘mentoring‘, recipe swaps, inspirations across the board, ideas exchanged, meals virtually dug into … The flour and yeast industry must be feeling the upswing these days with home bakers doing bread from scratch across the globe!French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & MozarellaNever has it been a better time to ‘break bread’ together. There’s been plenty of bread talk, FAQs, fresh yeast vs instant yeast vs sourdough {sourdough bread above}, why the yeast won’t rise, the brand of flour, the temperature etc. I’m no expert but have found that more often than never it’s the quality of the yeast which plays spoilsport and gives rise to beastly failure!Sourdough breadThis week, I also baked my maiden sourdough bread thanks to Sangeeta who shared some sourdough with us at Veda. My bread didn’t come out looking too good, and the recipe needs some further experimenting. Sangeeta’s posted a wonderful sourdough FAQ on her blog and I now know my bread was pleasantly sour because it was proofed for 3 days. The kids loved the flavour … {Sorry about the photographs. All done in a rainy day hurry}Sourdough breadThose loaves too disappeared pretty soon… some with lunch, and the rest as sandwiches for dinner. Will tweak the recipe and get sourdough confident soon. I want to make a San Francisco Sourdough bread one day … have you made one yet? Until then, here is one of my favourite meal breads for you, a  French Fougasse, almost a meal in itself. Serve alongside a light salad {I did a chickpea salad}, steamed French beans or char grilled broccoli, maybe a soup.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India



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