The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

20200428 Chef Gregoire Michaud's Provencal Fougasse with CLAS

Yippee's picture

20200428 Chef Gregoire Michaud's Provencal Fougasse with CLAS

To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here





Chef Michaud is the founder of Baking Elements and Bakehouse in Hong Kong, and he is also a member of TFL!  You can learn more about him herehere, and here.


This bread is from one of Chef Michaud's books, "La Boulangerie Baking at home". 





I followed Chef Michaud’s overall formula as much as possible, but since my flour could not absorb more water (and I did not push it), I reduced the hydration from 75.7% to 64%. Because CLAS works at higher temperatures, I also reduced the amount of yeast. The whole process took about three hours. My formula is as follows:


Beehive AP (ash .56%) 97%

whole wheat CLAS 3%

water 64%

yeast 0.7%

sugar 0.7%

salt 3%

milk 3%

olive oil 3%

Provence herbs, dried 3%

chopped sundried tomatoes 7%

black olives 4.3%

ham 4.3%


My final dough weighed about a pound and yielded one fougasse. 



When I decided to bake a bread that is not in Rus's collection, I was a bit hesitant. Because for a long time, I didn't need to worry about anything when baking Rus's bread---his formulae are so precise and reliable, the quality of bread is guaranteed as long as I follow his procedures! Rus has definitely spoiled me with his formulae!


However, to explore white bread that suits my family's taste, I must be independent and accustomed to working with CLAS alone. So, here it is,  my first CLAS bread without Rus's "supervision". 



The crispy crust, the savory ingredients, and the aroma of olive oil and Provencal herbs are undoubtedly a delicious combination that one enjoys. Also, there is an invisible flavor enhancer, CLAS, which brings the taste of this bread to another level. CLAS has never let me down!











































alfanso's picture

I've never heard of M. Michaud before.  Like the hundreds of others great bakers still unknown to me.  His work is beautiful.  I've never seen so much levain before, buckets at one time is not an exaggeration.  

The number of folks who line up outside his Bakehouse is quite noteworthy.  And his workshop is huge for a storefront business.

150 years ago the NY publisher Horace Greely, in urging folks to help settle the American West, said "Go west young man".   These days, he seems to have it backwards.  M. Micahud and countless others have proven that, for many, opportunities lie in going East. 

Thanks for the links.


Yippee's picture

It's nice to hear from you!

Chef Michaud is very well known in Hong Kong.  The last time I went back to Hong Kong, his bakeries were not open yet.  I will definitely visit them next I return to Hong Kong. 

Stay safe and healthy.

All the best, 


Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

If that isn't the best reason ever to visit Hong Kong.  Thanks for the links Yippee.

And of course, your fougasse looks and sounds fabulous.  There is definitely CLAS in my future.


Yippee's picture

when I watched Chef Michaud's videos and looked at the beautiful pictures of desserts and various loaves of bread in his books.  I wish I could be in Hong Kong to visit his bakeries and my family, but I guess I have to wait until the pandemic is over!  

Thank you for your kind words. Please give CLAS a try when you can, and I hope you will love it as much as I do. 

Stay safe and healthy.  

All the best, 


Benito's picture

Yippee your fougasse is da bomb, gorgeous.


Yippee's picture

for your kind words. 

Take care.