Fougasse Bread (Pan de Hogaza)



When I was young the internet did not exist, cable was the new thing, apart from tv channels, and chances of watching the same program again were harder. So every time there was a recipe on tv, I had a pen and paper in my hands. The program name is not on my memory, but the little piece of paper has traveled with me, stack inside my cookbook for about 16 years, this was one of the last ones I wrote in Peru from a cooking program. the first time I made it, it was not good at all. The second time I made an improvement; but the third time which was during the years that follow 2009, after I graduated culinary school, the understanding was more complete. I make it more and more today days, but I finally decide to put it on the blog, I believe that I can explain it better nowadays Great bread, it takes on many flavors, it absorbs like a little sponge.

Let's gather some history...... if you read that, you know now that different European regions, made their versions of this bread, and the idea of the bread been used to determine the temperature of the oven is amazing, because I remember going to Tarma, my mom's natal town, and seeing something similar, the first few breads will be put as a sample of how long the bread needed it to be in the oven, a wood oven made with bricks or adobe, it was also flat as the one I remember on that program.

For the making of this bread, a polish is required, A Polish., to enrich the flavor of the finished dough, a polish is made, the polish is a mixture of flour, water, and yeast that is made by simply combining the three. For different types of bread... a different proportion of water and flour will be used. It will all depend on how do you want your finish product to be. the lighter your goal, the more water to flour it will have.

Ingredients:

165 gr All Purpose Flour
165 gr Water
3/4 tsp active dry yeast yeast
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1/2 tsp yeast, instant active
185 gr water
25 gr rye flour or extra of All-Purpose Flour
310 gr All-purpose Flour
2 tsp salt
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3.5 oz assorted Kalamata or Manzanilla olives/ or/ Roasted Tomato /or/ a combination you desire
1 tsp Provencal Herbs
1.5 Tblsp Olive Oil

Directions:


  • Prepare the Polish, simply combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl and cover overnight or for at least 3 hours. Don't forget, lukewarm water will activate yeast better, dilute the yeast into the water, then add to flour and mix with a batter or dough mixer, (that one is my favorite).
  • When you are ready to make your bread, dissolve the yeast into the water, make sure that the water is at a lukewarm temperature, then combine the flours and salt in the bowl of your mixer.
  • When the mixture of the yeast and water is bubbly, about 5 minutes, add it on top of the polish. Then fold all at once this mixture over the flours. Quickly mix together and form a rough ball. Then start kneading with the hook attachment for 6 minutes, or until you achieve gluten development.
  • After you observe that the dough has reached a good gluten development incorporate the olives, herbs, and oil (mix this 3 together before adding into the dough)
  • Transfer to a proofing bowl, cover and proof for about 1 hour.
  • Divide into desired portions or divide into 4 equal pieces, round them and cover for about 15 minutes.
  • Press down to remove the gas a little bit, stretch with hand by pulling them into an oval circle. they should be about 1/4 inch thick. and make some cuts into the dough, like the ones on the picture.
  • Proof the shaped product for about 1 hour, then bake at 500*F over a stone for about 10 minutes.
  • Bring out from oven and brush with olive oil. sprinkle with an artisan salt. optional.
  • Always cool over a cooling rack to avoid bread getting humid.




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