Roasted Bone Chicken Stock

September 14th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

"Colour is flavour" so roast your bones before making chicken stock!

“Colour is flavour” so roast your bones before making chicken stock!

To get the very best flavour in your chicken stock, it’s really worth a little extra time to roast the bones. Professional chefs agree that “Colour is flavour” and chicken bones are a perfect example. Here’s my easy peasy bestest ever roasted bone chicken stock recipe:

Madame Thermomix’s Roasted Bone Chicken Stock
“Colour is flavour” and you can’t beat roasted chicken bones for adding flavour to your stock. Makes up to one litre.

Ingredients
one chicken carcass
water

Add your roasted bones to your TM bowl, add water to 2-Litre mark and cook for 30 minutes

Add your roasted bones to your TM bowl, add water to 2-Litre mark and cook for 30 minutes

Method

  1. Start with the carcass from a whole chicken you’ve steamed in your Varoma (done that yet? It’s fabulous!). Roast the bones in the oven 30 minutes, 180° C, fan. Deglaze your roasting tin to get all those yummy caramelised bits up, too!
  2. Transfer bones to TM bowl, cover with water to 2L mark. Cook 100°/30 minutes/Speed Spoon/Reverse Blade to get a good Litre of stock – or – Cook Varoma setting/30 minutes/Speed Spoon/Reverse Blade to get a smaller quantity of more concentrated stock.
  3. Strain stock through simmering basket into 2nd TM bowl or into another recipient; cool.
Don't forget to deglaze your roasting tin to get all the caramelised bits

Don’t forget to deglaze your roasting tin to get all the caramelised bits

Use stock for TM risotto, gravies, sauces, soups and more.

Bon appétit !

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Leftovers Lunch: Caramelised Shallot and Chorizo Tart with Herbed Shortcrust Pastry

September 10th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Caramelised Shallot and Chorizo Tart on Herbed Shortcrust Pastry by Madame Thermomix

Caramelised Shallot and Chorizo Tart on Herbed Shortcrust Pastry by Madame Thermomix

We’ve just moved into our new house and I’m up to my ears in boxes that need to be unpacked. My friend Mariette is coming for a visit with her three dogs (much to Harley and Billy’s delight) and I need to rustle something up for lunch. Off I go to the supermarket to pick something up, only to discover that I had left my handbag at home so had no wallet to pay :( Oh dear, it was too late to make the trip back to the store so leftovers it had to be.

My refrigerator contained about a dozen old and wrinkled shallots and some new white onions with the green tops still attached, plus a bit of salted butter. My larder contained some flour and a bit of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. And I had just brought some lovely rosemary back from our country house that would go nicely with the thyme in the pot outside. Leftovers lunch was therefore created with what was available, and it was to be a caramelised shallot tart on a herbed shortcrust pastry base. There really weren’t enough shallots and little white onions to fill the tin, so that’s where the chorizo came in ;-)

Just roll your shortcrust pastry out on a board dusted with flour and some fresh or even dried herbs and you've got a lovely herbed crust

Just roll your shortcrust pastry out on a board dusted with flour and some fresh or even dried herbs and you’ve got a lovely herbed crust

I first made the easiest shortcrust pastry you’ll ever find using the recipe from Thermomix France. I only kneaded it for 35 seconds and it came out much lighter and flakier, so go for that amount of time. Then I dusted my board with flour and herbs and rolled them into the pastry as I rolled it into a round. Simple! Blind bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees C or until nicely golden brown.
While the crust was baking, I gently caramelised the onions and shallots in some butter and oil, added some herbs and then the sliced chorizo to bulk it out. A bit of Balsamic vinegar and about a teaspoon of sugar gave it all a nice, dark, caramelised appearance and taste.
Next I plopped xxx arranged ;-) the caramelised mixture in the baked herby crust and set on a serving plate.

Instant carrot salad - complete with dressing - in one step and in 2 seconds!

Instant carrot salad – complete with dressing – in one step and in 2 seconds!

To accompany, I chopped some carrots with some Dijon mustard, olive oil and white wine vinegar to instantly dress and make an instant carrot salad – just 2 seconds/Speed 6 in my Thermomix!
Voilà! A delicious lunch created from what I had to hand. Mariette even asked for seconds, so I know it was good ;-)
Bon appétit !

Thermomix TM5: The New Kid on the Block

September 8th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Cyberspace has been abuzz lately with rumours and now confirmation that Vorwerk has launched its new all-in-one kitchen appliance, the Thermomix TM5. Cooking as well as high-tech afficionados will appreciate the new features of my Best Friend in the Kitchen which are presented in official videos and fact sheets on the various Vorwerk Thermomix websites around the world. Check them out in multiple languages on your local Thermomix website such as these:

http://thermomix.vorwerk.co.uk/

http://www.thermomix.com.au/

http://thermomix.vorwerk.fr/

http://thermomix.vorwerk.es/

http://bimby.vorwerk.it/

Super Kitchen Machine's comparison image

Many thanks to Helene of Super Kitchen Machine for this excellent comparison of the TM5 and TM31

Or for an unbiased view (well, ok, it’s written by someone who absolutely adores Thermomix) check out Helene’s excellent First Look at the NEW THERMOMIX.

I’ll be hopping over to an upcoming TM5 Discovery Day to see what all the buzz is about and to see how the TM5’s more powerful, quieter motor can help me through my various culinary tasks. I’m sure that Vorwerk’s unequalled quality will once again provide excellent value for money while saving me time and effort in the kitchen.

Welcome to the new Thermomix TM5!

Wasabi Panna Cotta

September 2nd, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Wasabi Panna Cotta may sound like an unusual combination but it works like a dream and tastes fabulous!

Wasabi Panna Cotta may sound like an unusual combination but it works like a dream and tastes fabulous!

Some days I think I must be mad. I’ve invited the French chef from our favourite restaurant here in Sancerre over for dinner. He doesn’t have a Michelin star – yet – but he certainly deserves one. Since I’ve been Thermomixing all day, I am actually quite calm and confident in what I have made: Wasabi Panna Cotta with prawns steamed in the Varoma, a Chinese steamed chicken – another Varoma triumph, of course – and Ginger Nut Crème Brûlée, a variation on my Crème Brûlée with Speculoos recipe. And we made various Chinese sauces involving peeling and chopping garlic, chopping ginger and herbs (dropped on the running blades – brilliant) and a few other processes I have overlooked as they come so naturally to me now. My only reserve is serving such a Western dessert with an Asian meal LOL but it’s so gorgeous and Fast and Easy, I wanted the chef to see what he can do with his own Thermomix!

Wasabi Panna Cotta
This unlikely-sounding combination is actually quite subtle and a wonderful accompaniment to your choice of seafood and/or fish. I’d love to serve these at a cocktail party, too. Just watch out for the huge hit of wasabi oil vapours up your nose when you take the lid off your Thermomix! Many thanks to The Collection by Liz McGrath for the original recipe.

Ingredients
200 g/200 ml Cream
20 g Wasabi
2 Gelatine Leaves, soaked in ice water
Pinch of sea salt
Juice of half a lime

Thermomix Method

  1. Weigh the cream into the TM bowl. Cook 4 minutes/90°C/Speed 1.
  2. Add the drained gelatine, the Wasabi, a pinch of salt and the lime juice and mix 10 seconds/speed 3.
  3. Pour into small verrines or shot glasses, chill, cover and refrigerate until set, 2 to 4 hours. Can also be poured into a container to set and formed into quenelles.

Serve with seared tuna, prawns or smoked salmon/tuna/trout. Would be a hit at a cocktail party, too.

This Wasabi Panna Cotta is fast and easy to make. The lime juice really goes well with the wasabi.

This Wasabi Panna Cotta is fast and easy to make. The lime juice really goes well with the wasabi.

Non-Thermomix Method

Bring cream to 80ºC, whisk in wasabi, gelatine, salt and lime. Set up in fridge, whisk before quenelling.

Bon appétit !

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Cheats’ Caesar Salad Dressing

August 30th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Just add anchovy, grated parmesan and a dash of vinegar to some garlic and chilli mayonnaise and voilà - Cheats' Caesar Salad Dressing!

Just add anchovy, grated parmesan and a dash of vinegar to some garlic and chilli mayonnaise and voilà – Cheats’ Caesar Salad Dressing!

Leftovers lunch idea: add some anchovy filets and Parmesan cheese to Felicity Raines’ garlic and chilli mayonnaise and make cheats’ Caesar salad dressing! Throw in some leftover Varoma steamed chicken and voilà, Chicken Caesar Salad.

Bon appétit! 

 

 

 

Leek and Crab Maki

August 29th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

This delicious take on a Japanese classic will delight your guests as an apéritif or a light starter. Serve with a crisp Sancerre rosé or white wine.

This delicious take on a Japanese classic will delight your guests as an apéritif or a light starter. Serve with a crisp Sancerre rosé or white wine.

Whilst driving through the vineyards of Sancerre the other day, I heard a lovely recipe on French radio station “France Bleue Berry.” A lady chef from a local restaurant was talking about making Japanese Maki rolls using the white part of the leek instead of sheets of seaweed. This idea appealed to me not only because I love using leeks but also because I was making an Asian-inspired meal for a French chef friend of ours and this fit into the menu perfectly. I have adapted the original recipe somewhat because I couldn’t write it down while driving!

Leek and Crab Maki
This delicious take on a Japanese classic will delight your guests as an apéritif or a light starter. Serve with a crisp Sancerre rosé or white wine. Use the white part of the leek for this recipe and save the green for soup. I used Thai jasmine rice that I steamed in my Thermomix; sushi rice would of course work very well, too. Makes about 24 bite-sized pieces.

Cut the white part of the leek into sheets by running a knife halfway through to the centre, down the length of the leek.

Cut the white part of the leek into sheets by running a knife halfway through to the centre, down the length of the leek.

Ingredients
60 g white rice, uncooked weight (about 2 cups cooked)
the white part of one leek (a section about 6 inches / 15 cm long)
one tin of crab meat (112 g drained weight)
juice of half a lime
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
¼ tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
small bunch of fresh coriander
one red chilli, deseeded and cut into julienne strips about 1 inch / 2.5 cms long

To serve
your choice of dipping sauces

Make sure you cut your leek sheets into 1-inch / 2.5 cm strips to make bite-sized, easy to eat pieces!

Make sure you cut your leek sheets into 1-inch / 2.5 cm strips to make bite-sized, easy to eat pieces!

Method

  1. Cut the white part of the leek into sheets by running a knife halfway through to the centre, down the length of the leek. Separate each natural layer of the leek and blanch to soften. Cook the rice. (If you have a Thermomix, you can steam the leek sheets 5 minutes on the Varoma tray while you cook your rice in the internal steamer basket.) Plunge leek sheets into cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Mix together crab, lime juice, ginger, soy, rice wine vinegar and cooled cooked rice. Set aside.
  3. Pick off individual leaves of coriander and set aside.
  4. Drain leek sheets and pat dry. Cut into 1-inch/2.5cm strips. Spread with crab and rice mixture, dot with coriander leaves and red chilli strips, then roll up from the end into a spiral, like a Swiss roll or a jelly roll.
  5. Serve with your choice of dipping sauces.
Spread leek sheets with crab and rice mixture, dot with coriander and chilli, then roll from one end

Spread leek sheets with crab and rice mixture, dot with coriander and chilli, then roll from one end

Top tip:

My photos show 2-inch strips of leek and 2-bite sized maki. They were really messy and hard to eat! Therefore I think it is important to cut your strips into manageable widths to make bite-sized pieces. Please learn from my mistakes!

 

Bon appétit !

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Apple Lattice Pie with Thermomix France Shortcrust Pastry

August 18th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Madame Thermomix's Apple Lattice Pie with Thermomix France Shortcrust Pastry

Madame Thermomix’s Apple Lattice Pie with Thermomix France Shortcrust Pastry

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know that my Mom made the world’s best apple pie. OK, I’ll make an exception for your Mom and once again we’ll agree that all our Moms make the world’s best apple pie. Most of the time Mom made a solid shortcrust top, but every now and then she would wow us with a lattice top. We loved this. It was even more beautiful because the pie juices bubbled up and left gooey, delicious speckles on the lattice itself. There was a little less crust to eat but what we did eat was über tasty, crisp and gorgeous!

I have recently learned from Thermomix France a new method for making shortcrust pastry that, if you can believe it, is even faster and easier than Thermomix UK Director Janie Turner’s method from Fast and Easy Cooking. It’s so utterly and beautifully simple that even I, Madame Thermomix, one of the world’s laziest cooks, make my own shortcrust pastry all the time now. So will you once you’ve tried this method!

THERMOMIX FRANCE SHORTCRUST PASTRY (PÂTE BRISÉE)
Makes enough crust for a 10-inch, 2-crust pie. Easily halved or doubled. Freezes beautifully, too. So fast and easy – and tasty – you’ll never be tempted to buy a store-bought crust again!

Ingredients
330 g plain flour
120 g butter (salted or unsalted, as you prefer)*
1 MC of water, i.e. 100 g**
a pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)

Method

  1. Weigh flour and butter into TM bowl. Mix 1 second on Turbo; repeat twice for a total of 3 x 1-second Turbo pulses.
  2. Add one Measuring Cup of water (100 g) and a good pinch of salt. Knead 1 minute*** on kneading/interval function.

That’s it! Chill for a bit while you prepare your filling, roll out, season, decorate, bake. Done.

Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips:

*No need to dice the butter, no need to freeze it. Trust your Thermomix and add the butter in one big lump, straight from the fridge. The Turbo function makes beautiful crumb-sized bits in just 3 seconds! How’s that for both saving time and for last-minute, I-must-make-some-pastry decisions?

**Did you realize that your Measuring Cup is so aptly named because you can use it to measure out 50 g/50 ml or 100 g/100 ml of liquid? See my earlier post for more on the oh-so-clever MC

***I find that one minute of kneading makes for a slightly hard pastry. Try kneading for just 30 seconds and let me know how your pastry turns out. Is it nice and flaky?

And if you’ve never done it before, here’s a little pictorial lesson on making a lattice top for your pie or tart.

  1. Start by determining how many apples to use in any tart or pie tin. Simply fill the recipient with whole apples and bingo! That’s how many you’ll need. You’ll find this rule of thumb very handy and when they are peeled and prepared, your apples will fit perfectly into your tin.
  2. The Thermomix France Shortcrust Pastry recipe makes enough pastry for both the top and bottom of your Apple Lattice Pie. Divide the chilled dough in half and roll out your top and bottom crusts. Use your pie tin as a size guide; your crust should be 2 to 3 inches/5 to 7 cm more in diameter than the top lip of your tin or pan. Using a knife and any sort of clean straight edge (I used my rolling pin – less washing up that way!) cut the top crust into strips about 1 cm/half inch wide.
  3. Line the bottom of your tin and fill with your chosen filling. For a really tasty apple pie, dot with butter at this stage.
  4. Lay half your strips in one direction on top of your filled bottom crust. Then lay one strip at a time in the opposite direction (at a 90 degree angle) and weave over and under the bottom layer.
  5. Continue weaving the new strips over and under the bottom layer.
  6. Here our tart is completely covered in a lovely lattice design.
  7. Crimp the two crusts together using either your thumb and forefingers or a fork. This not only looks pretty, it holds the crusts together, too.
  8. Oops! I forgot to add my dots of butter in step 3 so I added them here.
  9. Bake your lattice pie as usual. Here’s my beauty! Care to join me for a slice?

For a more complete apple pie recipe, see my original post on Mom’s Apple Pie.

Post your photos of your Mom’s Apple Pie on my Facebook page!

Bon appétit !

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Inside Stone Walls

August 8th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

The beauty of stone walls is eternal

The beauty of stone walls is eternal

I grew up in New England, in a house surrounded by stone walls. Outside stone walls, the kind that delineate the limits of people’s properties. Most houses in the region are made of wood, and they have interior walls covered in plaster or plaster board. The original plaster in New England was thickened with horse hair as insulation, and you can still see some of this in our attic.

Now in France I live in a house with stone walls. Twelve-inch thick stone walls to be exact. And they are not only stone on the outside, the inside walls of my house are stone, too. Lovely, warm stone that keeps the inside temperature relatively stable all year round. Lovely, craggy stone walls that catch the dust in their myriad of nooks, crannies and crevices. Lovely, natural stone walls that provide perfect adhesion for spider webs and cobwebs.

Yikes! This unwanted visitor will be sent outside in a jiffy!

Yikes! This unwanted visitor will be sent outside in a jiffy!

Spider webs and cobwebs??? Ah yes, spider webs, cobwebs, and spiders are my daily lot, especially in the fall when all sorts of creatures come in from the cold. But do they have to come into my house? Really! I get as many out of the house as I can with the glass and cardboard method, and allow a false sense of security to settle in over the winter. This false sense of security tides me over until the spring and summer when the ones I missed start crawling around again – with their offspring!

 

In this battle of man vs. nature I have decided that I will definitely prevail!

In this battle of man vs. nature I have decided that I will definitely prevail!

The combination of spiders, spider webs, dust and stone walls is a hefty one, and in this battle of man vs. nature I have decided that I will definitely prevail. So out comes my trusty vacuum cleaner with its myriad of brushes and off I go to… wait for it… vacuum the walls. You see, not only does the vacuum cleaner suck up the unwanted sticky webs of the creepy crawlies I manage to send outside, it also removes the dust and tiny bits of cement and other grout-like substances that cling to the stone walls. The more I brush and vacuum, the more bits I dislodge from the walls, so on and on it goes. And then in some corner I disturb a nest of spiders who start skedaddling around the place to my great joy and, well, panic.

I learn the hard way that I should start vacuuming the walls and ceiling before doing the floor, as bits of dust and cobwebs tumble down on my just-cleaned floor. I also learn the hard way that I should be wearing an old bandana to protect my hair, but as I only have a silk Hermes scarf with me today, daaaahling, I opt for the dusty grey look instead.

Now there’s a lizard lurking lazily on my wall!

Now there’s a lizard lurking lazily on my wall!

As I’m vacuuming one bit of the bathroom wall I look to my left and get quite a shock. In addition to all the spiders I’ve gotten rid of, now there’s a lizard lurking lazily on my wall! I nearly jumped out of my skin at the sight of this unwanted visitor so close by. It’s a good six inches from head to tail so a glass won’t be big enough to capture him. I luckily have saved a clear plastic rectangular fruit pack from the supermarket, and this combined with a clever new use for the local community magazine returns the lizard unharmed to the great outdoors.

There’s a lot to be said for plasterboard walls, but there’s so much character in a stone wall. I suppose that the extra upkeep is compensated by nature and its unexpected thrills!

 

 

 

Fat-Free Lunch for one: Sautéed Leeks and Tomato with Steamed Scallops

July 29th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

It's fast and easy to make lunch for one in Thermomix!

It’s fast and easy to make lunch for one in Thermomix!

I got home from running some errands at about 12:30 and noticed I was hungry. Lunchtime loomed ahead, and my head went straight into the refrigerator to see what was on offer. Lucky me! Seven Scottish sea scallops, a small leek and a tomato begged me to consume them and to prepare them in the healthiest way possible.

Enter Thermomix, with its constant gentle stirring which makes it possible not only to prepare and cook small quantities but also to cook with no added fat. Perfect for my diet! And Thermomix enables you to cook on up to four layers, too. Here I used just two layers, but to great effect and great taste.

Fat-Free Sautéed Leeks and Tomato with Steamed Scallops
No added fat for sautéing the veg or for cooking the scallops. Small quantities, too. Thermomix does it all! If you don’t have scallops to hand, any piece of firm-fleshed fish will be a delicious alternative. This was lunch for one; feel free to increase quantities and timings to suit your larger families and guests.

Ingredients for one serving
one small leek, sliced into 1 cm/half-inch slices and carefully washed to remove all grit
one medium tomato, quartered
6 or 7 scallops (or a piece of firm-fleshed fish)
salt and pepper

To serve:
a squeeze of lemon
a small handful of chopped parsley (or whatever fresh herb you have to hand)

Thermomix preserves flavours and textures, and sautés and steams with no added fat - all at the same time!

Thermomix preserves flavours and textures, and sautés and steams with no added fat – all at the same time!

Method

  1. Add sliced leek and tomato quarters to the TM bowl, plus salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Place the scallops or fish into the internal steaming basket and insert into the TM bowl. Cook 10 minutes/Varoma setting/Speed 1/Reverse Blade Function.
  2. Carefully remove the steamer basket using the handy slot on your ingeniously-designed Thermomix spatula. Arrange on a warm plate, add a burst of flavour with a squeeze of lemon, add some colour and taste with some chopped parsley or other fresh herb (dill or tarragon would be gorgeous), serve and enjoy!

That’s it! Lunch for one, no fat, dead simple.

Bon appétit !

Thermomix's clever reverse blade function keeps the leeks intact, and its constant gentle stirring allows you to sauté with no added fat

Thermomix’s clever reverse blade function keeps the leeks intact, and its constant gentle stirring allows you to sauté with no added fat

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French Provençal Fougasse

July 24th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Savoury fougasse flatbread is perfect for your picnics, with wines or with dinner

Savoury fougasse flatbread is perfect for your picnics, with salads, with wines or with dinner

Think dark, juicy, pungent olives, dripping with oil. Think cicadas chirping in the hot fields of lavender that stretch as far as the eye can see. Think a game of pétanque played by locals in the shade of a graceful plane tree. Think a glass of cool, crisp rosé wine sitting on the table of your favourite café, dappled with sunlight, sitting next to a platter of fougasse, a savoury French Provençal flatbread.

Have I got you there? Can you see it? Can you taste it? I certainly can, but then I really am sitting next to a platter of fougasse that I made in my trusty Thermomix. The only thing missing is the glass of rosé – and that’s only because it’s 8:30 in the morning. You just wait until this evening, and that bottle of rosé will be a delicious but fading memory…

Fougasse
This specialty bread from the south of France is delightful served with a glass of wine or cocktails, at a picnic, and as the bread to accompany a meal with Provençal or Italian flavours. The recipe itself is a tried and tested one from Thermomix France’s bread cookbook, “Mille et une pates… à pain.” I like it with a big plate of salad, antipasti, or crudités. It’s especially good dipped in the best EVOO you can find. This version calls for black and green olives and bacon lardons, but you can use almost anything that catches your fancy – or is lurking in the back of your refrigerator ;-) I had no lardons so I substituted some Parma ham. Pancetta would be lovely, as would sun-dried tomatoes, herbes de provence, small chunks of Parmesan, anchovies, onions, etc. Use your imagination and let Thermomix take you to new heights of cooking!

Ingredients
10 g fresh yeast
300 g semi-skimmed milk
100 g wholemeal flour
400 g plain flour (no need to use bread flour)
40 g olive oil
½ tsp. sea salt
70 g pitted black olives
70 g pitted green olives
100 g bacon lardons or Pancetta cubes
1 tsp. olive oil, to glaze

1. Fougasse dough before rising, with bits of olive throughout   2. Dough after rising, having doubled in size   3. Freeform shapes about 1/2 inch thick   4. Cut slits with a knife   5. Stretch the slits to form larger openings   6. Two beautiful fougasse, shaped, glazed, slit and ready to bake

1. Fougasse dough before rising, with bits of olive throughout 2. Dough after rising, having doubled in size 3. Freeform shapes about 1/2 inch thick 4. Cut slits with a knife 5. Stretch the slits to form larger openings 6. Two beautiful fougasse, shaped, glazed, slit and ready to bake

Method

  1. Activate the yeast by putting it in the TM bowl with the milk and warming 2 minutes/37° C/Speed 2.
  2. Add both types of flour, the olive oil, salt, olives and lardons. Close and lock the lid and Knead 2 ½ minutes. Your dough should be stretchy and soft, a bit moister than a typical bread dough.
  3. Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl, cover it with cling film and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (like in the oven at 50° C) for one hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Knock back the dough and using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten it into a freeform shape about 1.5 cm or a good ½ inch thick. [I did this directly on a lined baking tray, and I made two medium-sized fougasse (on two trays) rather than what would have been one huge one.] Glaze the shapes with olive oil and a pastry brush. Cut slits in the dough and stretch to create holes.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 230° C. Put a tray of water in the bottom to create steam which will help your bread rise a little more and bake with a beautiful crust. While the oven is heating, let your fougasse rise again at room temperature about 20 minutes.
  6. Bake at 230° C for 20 minutes or until the top and the insides of the holes are golden brown. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips:

  1. How old is your yeast? Has it been in the freezer? Check your yeast by giving the warmed milk mixture a quick burst of the Turbo button. If the yeast is fresh, you’ll have a lovely yeasty smell (imagine that!) and you’ll see bubbles on the surface. If you get no bubbles, you may need to add some new yeast to the milk and start again. If you don’t have any more yeast, you may wish to let your dough rise for quite a long time until it doubles in size, or even overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. A French tip for getting bread and pasta dough out of the bowl: tip the TM bowl over as usual, and before removing the base, give the black knob of the blade a couple of counter-clockwise/anti-clockwise turns with your fingers. You’ll feel the dough detach from the blade before falling out of the bowl and it will be even easier to remove the blade from the dough.
  3. If you’ve placed a tray of water in the oven to make steam, let it cool before you remove it so that you don’t scald yourself or anyone else in your kitchen.
Enjoy the texture, taste and soft crust of this savoury flat bread called Fougasse

Enjoy the texture, taste and soft crust of this savoury flat bread called Fougasse

Want to know more?
According to Wikipedia, Cuisines et Vins de France and a website entirely dedicated to this unusual and versatile bit of baking, fougasse was originally the bread used to test the temperature of the baker’s oven. “Waste not, want not” has been around for centuries, so the bakers stuffed and topped this first batch with whatever delights they had to hand and served the fougasse to their apprentice bakers as a morning snack. And if the word sounds familiar to you, fougasse is to French bread what focaccia is to Italian bread. In Spain they call it fougassa. All from the Latin, meaning “flat bread cooked under the ashes of a fire.”

Bon appétit !

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