Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Olive and Bacon Fougasse

Although it is almost close to two months since I last wrote a post on bread-making, I had actually been baking bread on a regular basis. I keep going back to the usual recipes that I am familiar with. The ever tasty and soft Hokkaido Milky loaf, the very versatile Milk loaf, and the savoury Bacon and Cheese loafare some of the few regulars on our breakfast table.


After taking a short hiatus from baking, I thought I should get out of my comfort zone to try something new. I have been keeping this fougasse recipe since I borrowed this book from the library. I have seen this pretty bread from several cookbooks, but as it is a French bread, most of the recipes I came across require it to be made with a starter. I was happy to be able to find a recipe that uses a straight dough method.


Fougasse, originated from Provence, is a type of flat bread filled with olives, bacon, onion or herbs, not very different from the Italian Focaccia. It can also be made like a calzone, with fillings stuff inside the pockets made by folding over the dough. For the flat bread version, it is often shaped and slashed to resemble a leaf or the tree of life.


Base on the cookbook, the same dough recipe can be used for making focaccia or pizza. Since we have only 1A2C at home, I halved the original recipe and also added some dried mixed herbs to give it more flavour. I followed the instructions to roll out the dough into 5mm thickness. As a result, the fougasse turn out to be very thin and crispy. I was expecting something much thicker :(


I do not know how fougasse should taste like since this is the first time I have ever tasted it. Although I like the flavourful savoury taste, I would prefer a thicker bread instead of a crunchy texture, it was almost like eating some bread sticks! Well, at least I was compensated with the lovely and distinctive aroma emitting from the black olives and bacon when the bread was baking in the oven.

To enjoy the bread, I served it with cream of mushroom soup. Upon cooling, the bread hardened and it was so crispy that my kids broke it into pieces and drop them into their soup, just like croutons ^_^"'

I have posted the recipe here for those who are intersted to give a try. However, I would remind myself not to roll the dough too thin the next I were to make them again.


Olive and Bacon Fougasse

Ingredients

150g bread flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional)
90 ml water
1 tablespoon olive oil

5 black olives, coarsely chopped
2 strips of bacon, cut into small strips


Method
  1. Stir bread flour, instant yeast, salt and dried mixed herbs(if using) in a mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre and add in olive oil and water. Mix the ingredients with hand and slowly form into a dough.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your hand, becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about 20 mins. (Note: the dough is a little on the dry side.)
  4. Add black olives and bacon strips, knead till the ingredients are well mixed for about 5 mins. (Note: due to the moisture in the olives and bacon, the dough will become slightly sticky and wet. Dust lightly with some flour and continue to knead and the dough will become smooth and elastic again.)
  5. Place dough in a lightly greased (with olive oil) mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let proof in room temperature (around 28 ~ 30 degC) for about one hour, or until double in bulk.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl and give a few light kneading to press out the gas in the dough. Divide dough into two equal portions. Smooth into rounds, cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let them rest for 10 ~ 15 mins.
  7. On a lightly floured work surface, flatten each dough into a round disc, roll the dough from the centre to the edges to form a tear-drop shape, with thickness of 5mm (1/4"). (Note: for thicker bread, roll out to at least 10mm (1/2") thick). Place dough on a baking tray, well greased or lined with parchment paper.
  8. For each dough, with a pastry scrapper or a knife, make two vertical slits in the centre (or just 1 long slit, as desired). Make three slanted slits on both sides of the vertical slits. Gently pull the slits apart to shape the dough to resemble a leaf.
  9. Cover with damp cloth or cling wrap and leave doughs to proof for the second time for about 20 ~ 30mins. Brush dough lightly with some olive oil and sprinkle sparingly with some sea salt (optional).
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven at 220 deg C for 18 ~ 20 mins or until golden brown.

    Recipe source:adapted from 爱上做面包, 德永久美子

16 comments:

  1. Hi HHB

    I've never heard of this bread either, but good on you for trying it anyway! Are there many french bakeries in Singapore? Maybe you could pop in and compare yours to theirs!

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  2. This one looks very crispy! I like it!

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  3. This is sth new to me too but I am sure I will like the savory taste.

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  4. Hi!!Your fougasse looks delicious...I've never tried it yet, so I couldn't help!! I don't keep a blog, this is why you couldn't access my profile!It seems to me I don't have anything to blog about...I use gmail and the account to leave comment!! cheers Martina

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  5. Thanks for the reminder! I've got the book and yet, I missed it! I'm so going to look out for it! Thanks for sharing!! =)

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  6. I've just heard about a new hearthquake just out of Sumatra.It's been said that it's been felt in Singapore, too. Hope everything is allright and everyone near to you is safe. A warm hug to you (and to all the people affected)
    Martina

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  7. wow, I see somebody loves playing around with the dough.. LOL. Nice bread..

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  8. dear Martina, yes, the tremors from the earthquake off Sumatra island were felt by many people here. My place was not affected and there were no injury reported. Thanks so much for your concern :)

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  9. what a lovey piece of bread, it really looks delicious, good job!

    cheers from london,

    pity

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  10. Hi HHB
    Out of curiosity, have you ever try using the breadmaker to do Pau? Do you think it's possible to use it to do the kneading part?

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  11. Hi, I'm sorry I have not tried making pau so I am unable to comment on this.

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  12. Fougasse actually meant "leaf." So technically speaking, any bread shaped in the same form can be callws fougasse. The most common fougasse is cheese (Gruyere or hard swiss, VERY tasty).

    Even though the 2nd proof time is listed as 20-30 min, let it proof until is is elastic to the touch. To keep it soft & fluff texture, pad the dough down w/ your hand, roll out lightly so it is rectangular, cut, pull the opening apart, proof, bake & enjoy!

    If you can find Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice, it has a pretty good recipe for Fougasse. My old chef was an apprentice of him, many of recipes are the modification of his. It works wonderfully! Strongly recommended!

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  13. Hi Sugar Temptress, thanks so much for the useful information :)
    I have read Peter Reinhart's book, and have been keeping several of his recipes but I have yet to pick up the courage to try it!

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  14. I know some of Peter Reinhart's recipes can be very intimidating when look at. Give it a shot, it is not too bad, it is still basic steps w/ modification. You had made some very nice breads, I am sure you can do it w/o any major issues! :)

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  15. Tested the recipe last week. It is very crispy like a biscuit. My mistake was I put the dice cheddar cheese in the dough making it hard to roll. Thanks for the tips of pulling the slits apart. I got nice leaf shape. Next round must roll thicker and put grated cheese.

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