Using up that fennel: Provencal Fisherman’s Bread


Normally, I love Sundays. This one wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t find much time to relax or do things around the house, as issues with the upcoming radio show sucked up a lot of time. It will be worth it to get it right, but I do miss my down time, especially since I’m very very tired of spending all day long every day in front of the computer.

Today I skipped making a breakfast scramble and went right for the tempeh bacon. Then made a breakfast burrito of sorts with leftover tofu curry. Wasn’t too bad. I also listened to a little bit of September 11th anniversary coverage on the radio. September 11 affected me deeply, but I don’t feel motivated to post about it today. I’m actually very glad that we don’t have cable—I don’t need those images repeated over and over and over again—I saw enough of them 10 years ago to last a lifetime.

I didn’t get to roasting the fennel and beets this weekend, but I did use one fennel head in making this bread. It’s getting late, and the bread is not done. If I get a good picture, I’ll come back in and post it here tomorrow.

Provençal Fisherman’s Bread (Pain Bouillabaisse)
Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day


  • 3¾ cups whole wheat flour {I used 5½ cups white whole wheat because I originally was going to make the master recipe until I happened on this recipe. Follow the master recipe link if you want complete baking instructions.}
  • 3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour {I used 1½ cups white / ½ cup wheat germ}
  • 1½ tsp herbes de Provence (Use a prepared herb mix or make your own with an equal mixture of dried marjoram, thyme, rosemary, basil, and savory, plus a little lavender if it’s available) {I made up my own, as I had all of the ingredients except for the savory – I ran out to the herb garden to get a little lavender: I never pruned or harvested the lavender plants this summer, just let the bees do their thing, but there is plenty of dried flower left}
  • ½ tsp saffron powder, or 1/8 tsp saffron threads, simmered in the 3½ cups water. Cool to lukewarm before using in the recipe. {I happened to have some fairly old saffron threads that had been sealed tightly away, so I simmered those}
  • 1½ T granulated yeast, or 2 packets (decrease to taste)
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb, cut into 1-inch pieces, white parts only
  • 3½ cups lukewarm water
  • ½ cup olive oil {I omitted this}

Note: I’ve found that I’ve been needing to set the oven temp to 425° instead of 450° since getting the new baking stone. One of these days I’ll get an oven thermometer.