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.