Today with Pat Kenny July 12th – ‘Knead to Know’

Sundried Tomato and Thyme Fougasse

Makes 4 about 10cm x 15cm

Famous in Provence but this is great to serve at a Bbq or with a winter soup.

6 sundried tomato halves, finely chop 4 halves and slice 2 halves thinly for the garnish

½ tsp chopped thyme

10 to 12 black olives, pitted and sliced into half

8 to 10 small thyme sprigs

Course sea salt, for the garnish

For the dough

7g or 2 tsp dried yeast

500g strong or 00 flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil, to drizzle after baking

  1. Add 100ml boiling water into a measuring jug and top up with cold water until the 300ml level. Test with your finger – the water should be warm. Not too hot as the yeast will not develop.
  2. Place the flour into a mixing bowl, stir in the dried yeast.
  3. Add the salt, sugar and the oil to the bowl.
  4. Pour the warm water into the dry ingredients, mix well with a wooden spoon until a slightly sticky dough forms. You may need to add a little more. Gather the dough from around the bowl to form a soft ball.
  5. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and knead the dough until the dough is smooth.  This will take about 10 to 12 minutes.  If you have a dough hook on your electric mixer, place in the bowl and “knead” for about 3 to 4 minutes until smooth.
  6. Oil the sides of the bowl and add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place to double in size.  This will take about 1 ½ hours.
  7. Once the dough has doubled in size, tip the dough onto a floured surface and “knock back” and knead lightly for about 3 minutes.
  8. Then add the finely chopped sundried and thyme.  Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment
  9. Cut the dough in 4 with a sharp knife. Roll each piece into thin rectangle shapes of about 10 x 15cm.
  10. Place the dough onto the parchment paper on the baking trays. Using a sharp knife make a diagonal cut across the centre of the dough almost to the ends. Cut three smaller diagonal cuts on both sides of the large cut to resemble a leaf. Complete all 4 before sprinkling over the sundried tomato strips and the olives. Sprinkle over sea salt.
  11. Cover with an oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 20 minutes.
  12. Preheat the oven to 230°C/Fan 210°C/gas 7.
  13. Remove the wrap, drizzle with a little rapeseed oil and transfer to the oven for about 15 to 18 minutes or until golden and baked. Sprinkle over more thyme sprigs and a little salt before serving. Serve warm.

Tip: Add ¼ tsp caraway seeds or even fenugreek seeds or add diced gruyere and caramelized leeks.



Pistachio, Apricot and Honey Twist Bread

Serves 8 to 10

This one is great for brunch served with coffee. The pistachios add a lovely crunchiness to the soft sweet delicate bread. It is a rich dough so you will need extra time for the rising process.   

450g strong flour

60g sugar

½ tsp salt

2 tsp yeast

70g butter

180ml milk, you may need a little more

1 egg


12 “ready to eat” dried apricot halves, finely chopped

4 tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped

2 tbsp honey

Egg wash, for glazing

1 tbsp chopped pistachios, for decorating

1 tbsp honey, for decorating

  1. Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Line a large baking tray with parchment.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, add the milk and warm. Add the egg, whisking briskly so that it does not scramble. Check the temperature as it should not be too hot. Pour the egg milk mixture over the dry ingredients and using the dough hook of the mixer, mix until a soft dough has formed.  “Knead” in the machine for about 3 to 4 minutes until a smooth dough has formed.
  3. Oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place to double in size. This will probably take about 2 hours. Check after 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/Gas 5.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, place on a floured surface and “knock back” – knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly knead in the chopped apricots and nuts.
  6. Divide the dough into 2. Roll each piece of dough into a long, equal thickness strip of about 25cm in length.
  7. Using both strips, twist the dough over each other to form one large piece and when twisting drizzle some honey over the dough. Place the twisted dough onto the parchment on a baking tray.
  8. Glaze the dough with a little egg wash.  Oil a piece of plastic wrap and cover and leave to rise for a further 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Glaze the top again with egg wash and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and cooked. During that last 5 minutes of baking, drizzle over some honey and  chopped pistachio nuts.
  10. Once cooked, place on a cooling rack and allow to cool before serving.

Tip: Add chocolate drops instead of the nuts and of course omit the honey.   



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