The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Silverton's Fougasse, adapted

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louie brown's picture
louie brown

Silverton's Fougasse, adapted

Forgive me. I have strayed from the unending pursuit of the platonic ideal in bread baking, and have had some fun. 

Silverton's formula for this bread includes some marjoram, which gives a nice perfume. I added some - a lot - of toasted wheat germ as well, which gives a nutty flavor and an added textural element. I've been adding toasted wheat germ to many of my loaves for years. It's a great ingredient. I also made the dough somewhat wetter than is specified. This, with the extra olive oil, made the dough a little tricky to handle, so out came the parchment and the rice flour.

This bread is especially striking in a large format. It is fun to tear apart.

 

Bonus pic: pita points with zatar and olive oil, which went with drinks for a dinner for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot:

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It looks delicious, Louie!

David

louie brown's picture
louie brown

It really is delicious. The herb and wheat germ add a lot to the flavor. This is another bread that is great with cheese, and guests love to pull it apart.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What beautiful photo's, everything looks so mouthwatering delicious!  Beautiful shaping and crumb on the Fougasse, the pita points wouldn't last long around here either, they look fantastic!  Forgive my ignorance, but what is zatar?

Sylvia

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Sylvia, thank you for the lovely compliments.

Zatar is an herb mixture found widely throughout the Middle East in both Arab and Sephardic Jewish cuisine. In addition, Israelis of every origin have adopted it. The basics are hyssop, sumac, oregano, thyme, savory. These may also be mixed with sesame and sour (lemon) salt. The variations are as many as for, say, barbecue sauce, with each one similarly claiming its own as the best.

It is not legal to pick wild hyssop in Israel any longer, but, needless to say, the activity does go on.

My wife brought me this batch from her last trip to Israel, made up by a very (very) longstanding spice dealer in her home town, Tiberias.

varda's picture
varda

Louie,  Given the variation that we see on this site every day I am curious as to what this platonic ideal in bread baking is.   Care to enlighten us?   I think you must have achieved the platonic ideal for fougasse.   Very nice!    Oh and good idea about throwing in some toasted wheat germ.   I'm looking forward to trying that.   -Varda

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Thanks, Varda. I continue to believe that Nancy Silverton is a terrific starting point for a lot of interesting breads. Her formulae show a lot of thought. She does spike a lot of them with a little yeast, but it isn't necessary for most of them. I'm sure she does it for predictability of outcome for less experienced bakers, and for a commercial bakery not accustomed to sourdough.

As to your question, my remark was slightly sarcastic, but more than anything, a nod of admiration and appreciation for those who execute the basics consistently and with such beautiful results. If there is a platonic ideal on this site, it is for me the collected works of Andy.

bee182's picture
bee182

As far as I know the whole herbs are mixed with some olive oil. 

Your Fougasse looks really beautiful it remind me a modern drawing of the burning tree that moses saw on mount sinai. 

I lived 25 years 20 km from Tiberias....

Hag Sameach

Bea

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Hi, Bea. My wife always brings the zatar as a dry mixture. Do you actually purchase it in olive oil? There are many cases where I like to sprinkle it on dry.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello louie, Your fougasse looks like a big beautiful leaf - delightful to see!
What a gorgeous crumb and it must taste so good with the wheat germ.
Your zatar spice blend sounds very interesting too - thanks for explaining.
:^) from breadsong

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Hi, breadsong. Thanks for writing. Normally, I like to bake without flavorings in my bread, but once in a while, it's nice to add something. Chocolate comes to mind. Most often it'll be herbs or seeds. Here, I think the marjoram is a clever choice, although thyme, rosemary, many others would work as well. I do add wheat germ frequently, to the point that I often find bread without that additional taste and mouthfeel to be rather plain.

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

That looks wonderful.  I've wanted to try one for some time...I think now might be the time.  I will try Nancy Silverton's recipe. thanks for the suggestion. I will be delighted if mine looks half as good as yours.

Pam 

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Hi, Pam. Here's something I learned: the preshaped dough needs to be wider at the base, so that the sides slope up to a rounded top. The shape isn't as nice if the sides are parallel. My wife is partial to the two pointed pieces at the bottom.

You should try it. This isn't such a difficult bread to make, especially if you keep the hydration manageable.

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Thank u so much for the hint.

Pam