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 dried yeast (2 sachets)
- 75 ml milk, at room temperature
- 350 gm bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 30 gm raw caster sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tsp whole aniseed (see note), ground with a mortar and pestle
- 70 gm butter, softened, plus extra melted for brushing
- Eggwash, for brushing
- Raw honey and cultured butter, to serve
- 1Dissolve 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).
- 2Knock 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).
- 3Preheat 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.
Whole aniseed is available from select delicatessens, independent grocers and Herbie’s Spices (herbies.com.au).