Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fougasse with Olives

Generally, the next months breads are posted a few days before the start of the month. That wasn't the case for November, so I went ahead and picked out one of the few remaining loaves and made it. My choice was the olive fougasse.

The home recipe makes two, so I divided the dough just before the addition of the olives and made one fougasse with olives and another without. I substituted a half-dozen chopped kalamata olives for the two tablespoons of niçoise olives. It was the only olive I had on hand and they worked well.

I would recommend care when rolling out the dough. In my case the I got the dough a little too thin giving an almost cracker texture. The bread was still quite good, but I would have preferred something a bit thicker and chewier. That said, this is another recipe for the winner's column.

Sunflower Seed Bread with Pâte Fermentée

The October breads were rounded out with a sunflower seed bread. I'm partial to sunflower seed breads and this was no disappointment.

The recipe includes rye chops which, early on in the challenge would have been off-putting. But now that I'm soaking the rye berries before tossing them into the food processor, this is no longer the problem it once was. I'm not sure they add a lot to the bread, but I like them now. And they aren't that much additional work.

This recipe produced a light, lovely loaf that I would gladly make a gain. A great loaf. And three winners in one month.

Sesame Bread Sticks

The sesame bread sticks recipe is another one-day recipe. Having previously made the grissini, I wasn't sure how these would be different. While a bit leaner, there really isn't much difference.

In making these, I was much more forceful when rolling out the dough not worrying whether I was deflating them too much or not. This proved to be the right tack to take as I was able to shape these better. I also cooked them longer going for a more crispy bread stick. In general, I prefer the chewy bread sticks, but after making these, I may have to rethink my position. These were very tasty and I really liked them crisp. But, as Hamelman warns, they only keep for around five days (if not eaten before then). A winner!

Berne Brot

The Berne brot is like challah but richer. The water in challah has been replaced with milk and the oil has been replaced with butter.

This is a straight dough that is easily made in one day. Hamelman's recipe for the home baker make three medium to smallish loaves. I made half the recipe and made one loaf and several buns. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as given.

In retrospect, I wish I had made the full recipe. This is a very tasty loaf. When comparing challah with this brot, I definitely prefer the latter.