Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday, June 10th - "Quicker" Lemon Olive Tapenade Fougasse

Lemon Olive Tapenade Fougasse
I love love to bake bread.  I say it everytime I do a bread post.  I love the long process and the extended manipulation.  I feel more involved in the food.  Bread is truly at the heart of 'slow-food' for me.  Lately though, because of a very recent new arrival in our house, bread is almost impossible to spare time for, because there is no such thing as spare time.  So to allay my craving to bake, I needed to be sure that I had the activities lined up and planned.  I went for a single rise so as not to fuss in the kitchen away from louder demands.  I will try the double rise if I ever see spare time again but I didn't miss it. It turned out fantastic!

Lemon Olive Tapenade Fougasse Bread

1 2/3 c warm Water
1 t Honey
2 t Dry Active Yeast
1 t Salt
3 T Olive Oil (or Anchovy Oil)
2 c Whole Wheat Flour
2-3 c Bread Flour (All Purpose Flour)

1 T fresh Rosemary, minced
1 t fresh Sage (totally optional, just had some on the balcony)
12-14 Salt Cured Olives, pitted and diced
1 Lemon's Zest
2 Oil Cured Anchovy Filets, diced

1/4 c Cornmeal
1 T Olive Oil

In a mixing bowl with the kneading hook on, add the Warm Water and dissolve the Honey.  Sprinkle the Yeast over and let stand for 5-10 minutes until frothy.

Meanwhile, on a cutting board, mince the Rosemary and the Sage.  Lump the pitted Olives and the Anchovy Filets on top and continue chopping until roughly cut up.  Add the Zest to the heap.   Set aside.

Add the Salt and Olive Oil to the Yeast mixture and stir.  Add 1 cup of the Wholewheat Flour and Stir until moistened.  Add the Olive Mixture.  Mix on Low.  Add the rest of the Wholewheat Flour.  On a Kitchenaid mixture, turn up to "2" that is the second to lowest setting.
Add the Bread Flour in 1/2 c increments until you have a dough that is sticky but pulls away from the bowl.  Typically, it will be 2-2 1/2 c but it depends on your local humidity.  Turn up to "4" when most of the flour is in and let knead for 5-8 minutes.

When the dough is at the texture you like, remove from the bowl and form into a ball on a dusted cutting board.  Cut in half.  Form each half into a flat oval about 10-12 inches long.  Cut slits like a rib cage on the bias going both ways on each oval.  You will need a very sharp knife and maneouvre your fingers through sometimes.

Dust two baking sheets with Cornmeal. Not too much because the loose stuff will scorch.  Place the Fougasse on each baking sheet stretching it out to open up the slits.  Lightly brush with Olive Oil and cover loosely with Plastic Wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

If you have more time.  Let the dough ball rise, whole, in an oiled bowl for 1-2 hours before making the loaves.

Preheat the Oven to 450F with two racks at the 1/3 and 2/3 positions. Oil the loaves with a brush or with your fingers.

Just before placing the bread in, throw a 1/4 c water into the oven.  This will help form a good crust.

Bake for 12 minutes.  Then switch positions and turn the loaves back to front.  Bake for another 10 minutes. 

Now the holes may close up because of the single rise but it tastes spectacular!  Serve warm with Butter or Olive Oil.  We have some Oil Cured White Anchovies in the fridge and they were awesome on the bread!!  The lemon comes in on the end and adds character.

Yummo!  Will make again and again!

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