I’ve always loved the appearance of a fougasse but had never baked one. Since Mr. And Mrs. Alfanso are going to be our guests tonight and I know how Alan loves crust, I decided it was time to bake a fougasse. We love Kalamata olives so decided that my fougasse would have chopped Kalamata olives and oregano in it. I found this recipe in Maurizio Leo’s new book The Perfect Loaf and got it into a spreadsheet. I also made modifications to the method based on what I thought would work well. In particular I add the olive oil early on rather than developing the dough and then dealing with adding olive oil to a developed dough. My thinking on this is that since the dough has a low hydration of only 64% that the gluten will be easy to develop even in the presence of the olive oil. That was the case and adding the olive oil early on didn’t negatively affect the dough development.
MIX THE LEVAIN: Warm or cool the water to about 78°F (25°C). In a medium jar, mix the levain ingredients until well incorporated (this liquid levain will feel quite loose) and loosely cover. Store in a warm place for 12 hours.
Strain and dry the chopped Kalamata olives. Add 2 g of dried oregano to the Kalamata olives.
When the levain has peaked, to the water, add the levain and dissolve, then add salt and olive oil, then whole wheat flour and mix, finally add bread flour. After 10 mins of autolyse, slap and fold to develop the dough moderately. Towards the end of mixing add the Kalamata olives and oregano through stretch and folds.
At 30 min intervals give the dough coil folds. After the third set give the dough 1 hour 30 mins rest.
To remove the dough from the bowl drizzle olive oil onto and around the edges of the dough. Then gently rub the olive oil over the surface and around the sides. In the bowl flip the dough to oil the bottom of the dough.
Transfer the dough to a parchment lined tray, smooth side up and gently stretch the dough out into a rough triangle. Allow to proof for 1 and a half to 2 hours. 30 mins prior to the end of proof pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
The dough should pass the finger poke test when ready to bake. Prior to baking cut the dough into the desired shape.
After baking brush with olive oil.
These photos were taken prior to brushing olive oil on the bread. I will warm the fougasse and then brush olive oil on it prior to serving.
My niece tells me that this fougasse looks like a Monstera leaf, I think she is right.
Great job on the shaping, Benny! It doesn't seem easy to make it so symmetrical, at least not for me. I'm sure it also tastes delicious! Have a great time, you guys!
Thank you Yippee, it was fun to do. I do wish I had my Oxo cookie tray here, I could have spread the dough out a bit more but was constrained by the cookie tray I have here.
Have a great weekend.
Looks like Mr and Mrs Alfonso are in for a treat. I’ve never tried this shape before and it looks like you nailed it.
Thank you Ian, Mr. And Mrs. Alfanso seemed to enjoy their meals including this fougasse. They were kind enough to bring a lovely Portuguese red wine and a gorgeous Alfanso baguette. So of course I sent them home with almost half the fougasse.
Who would have guessed he would have given you a baguette 🥖🤣. A beauty of course!
Our 4 hours last evening seemed to go by in a flash. Dinner & wine were wonderful. The fougasse, loaded with my favorite olive, Kalamata, had some characteristics aligned with a focaccia, especially with the brushing on of olive oil and herb, sans the latter's open airiness. Delicious. But the Lemon Lime Atlantic Beach pie, highlighted in Benny's separate blog entry, was a true standout.
The fougasse shared a breakfast plate with some remaining Bouabsa and the same, albeit much more slender, "deli" rye than the 500g long batard which we brought with us last night. It is the same formula as I used in the lead to our Community Bake several years ago.
Toasted, buttered and ready for my napkin to be tucked in...
As fine as the meal was, the real story is that the camaraderie we shared far outpaced any other aspect of the evening. At this point, I have met a fat handful of TFL participants, several multiple times, and to a 'T' every meet-up has been a delightful experience. We can easily agree that TFL brings people with a common interest together on this website, but the addition of actually sharing face-to-face time and "breaking bread" with our doughy compatriots yield dividends worthy of long happy memories.
Our nephew will be spending a long weekend with us this coming week, with homemade pizza* on the first night's menu. After last evening's fabulous dessert, I hope to add that pie to the groaning board menu.
*somewhere not too long ago I settled on the decidedly untraditional Bouabsa dough as my pizza dough, Easy, tasty and provides a great cornicione.
We fully enjoyed the company of you and your wife last evening. I was happy to finally reciprocate with some cooking and baking and I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed my cooking and baking. I hope you have a great visit with your nephew, I’m sure he and his partner will enjoy your cooking/baking and company. Thanks again for the wonderful baguette which is now in the freezer, to be saved for a future meal.
Beautiful, Benny. Nicely done.
Thank you Phil, that is kind of you to say. It is a fun bread to shape, if you haven’t tried it you should.
Another nice bake Benny. Fougasse is on my long list of breads to make.
Thanks Tony, it was on my list as well and it is fun to do, so get it checked off soon.
Truly magnificent. Wonderful symmetry.
Thank you Gavin, it was a fun bake and one I’d encourage others to try.