The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman's Fougasse with Olives

wally's picture
wally

Hamelman's Fougasse with Olives

Having battered myself attempting to conquer (well...make peace with?) baguettes - hampered by still developing scoring techniques and an old gas oven that simply won't retain steam - this morning I decided to treat myself to something less daunting.  I've been looking at some of the flatbread recipes in Hamelman's Bread, and his fougasse recipe caught my interest.  It's simple and has a pleasing scoring pattern (no gringes, thank you very much).


fougasse with olives


The bake turned out nicely, I think, and the reaction of my pub companions with whom I shared the loaf was positive.  It yielded a nice crust, and a chewy crumb infused with flavor from the olives and the olive oil.  This is a wonderful snack-type bread that will disappear quickly, as it should.  With its large area of crust, including that around the decorative slits, it's not meant to store but bake and eat soon as it's cooled sufficiently.



I diverted from his recipe just a tad - instead of a small pinch of yeast in the pâte fermentée, I substituted 15% of my 60% hydrated sourdough starter.  The only noticeable difference was a slight hint of sourness to the pâte fermentée the next morning which I enjoyed.


The one challenge was moving the fougasse to my parchment covered peel.  Once you score the risen dough (I used a pizza cutter which worked well), the cuts tend to spring open immediately.  This is nice.  However, attempting to lift the fougasse onto the peel was a nightmare, as the cuts made it impossible to lift the dough without it stretching in every direction.  At first I looked at what appeared to be a hopeless mass, but with some patient rearranging I was able to reconstitute its shape.  In the future, I will probably do the final shaping and slashing with the dough on the peel to avoid potential disaster and aggravation.


Otherwise, it's remarkably simple and the the finished product elicits a very high "oooohhhh" factor when shown off.


Larry

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Hi Harry,


I generally roll out the dough into a disk or triangle, let it rest a lot (15 minutes?), and then score them right on top of parchment.  It wasn't clear to me whether you were going to use parchment under them before cutting them on your peel.  If you just cut them on top of parchment and leave that on a counter-top (covered), you can stretch them out considerably before a short final proof, and you won't need to leave them to actually proof on the peel.


Levain is still used by some tradition-oriented bakers to make fougasse.  Since manufactured yeast was not common until the late 19th century, it's a pretty safe bet that most fougasse was levain-raised before then.  Yours looks pretty close to that sold in Basil Kamir's bakery.


--Dan DiMuzio

wally's picture
wally

Dan,


Thanks, that will be POA going forward.  I didn't realize the degree of separation I'd get from my cuts (and the challenge that would pose in transfering the dough).  It's easy enough to do the final shaping and scoring on parchment.  I like this particular bread - simple, but good and good looking.


And thanks for the comparison to the bread coming out of Basil Kamir's bakery!


Larry