This bread is best made fresh and served straight
from the oven, but it can be baked ahead and gently reheated. It's
delicious warm, slathered with butter and honey.
14 gm (2 sachets)dried yeast75 mlmilk, at room temperature350 gmbread flour, plus extra for dusting30 gmraw caster sugar2eggs, at room temperature2 tbspolive oil, plus extra for greasing2 tspwhole aniseed (see note), ground with a mortar and pestle70 gmbutter, softened, plus extra melted for brushingEggwash, for brushingRaw honey and cultured butter, to serve
Dissolve yeast in milk in a small bowl and set aside until creamy on top. Combine flour and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add eggs, oil, aniseed and yeast mixture, and knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes). Gradually add softened butter, mixing continuously until incorporated. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1½-2 hours).
Knock back dough, then divide in half. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a rough 20cm x 10cm rectangle. Cut slits in bread and gently pull apart to open slightly, then transfer to trays (or a single large tray) lined with baking paper, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1 hour).
Preheat oven to 200C. Brush bread with eggwash, dust lightly with flour, and bake until dark golden (12-15 minutes; if you’re using two oven trays, swap them halfway through cooking). Serve fougasse warm with butter and honey.