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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