*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                       OLIVE LADDER BREAD (Fougasse)
 Recipe By     : BAKER'S DOZEN SHOW #BD1A29
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    :
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    2 1/2  cups          lukewarm water
    1      teaspoon      dry yeast
    6      cups          unbleached all purpose flour -- (6 to 7)
    2      tablespoons   olive oil plus extra for oiling surfaces
    2      teaspoons     salt
    1 1/2  cups          pitted and chopped black olives (Nyons or
      1/4  cup           buckwheat flour
 You will need a large bread bowl, four 10- by 15- inch or larger baking
 sheets that will fit in pairs
 side-by-side in your oven, a sharp knife or razor blade, and a pastry brush.
 Place water in a large bowl, sprinkle on yeast, then stir in 2 1/2 cups of
 the all purpose flour. Stir
 100 times in the same direction (one minute) to develop the gluten, then
 leave this sponge
 covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes or up to two hours.Stir in olive
 oil, salt, olives, and
 buckwheat flour. Mix in remaining flour, a cup at a time, stirring always in
 the same direction,
 until dough becomes too stiff to stir. Turn dough out onto a well floured
 working surface. Using
 floured hands, knead gently until the dough has an even consistency (apart
 from the olives), then
 knead 5 minutes longer. Clean bread bowl, oil it lightly, place dough in the
 bowl, then cover with
 plastic wrap. Let rise for 2 to 3 hours. It will have almost doubled in volume.
 Oil two 10 by 15 inch (or larger) baking sheets. Flatten dough down gently
 with your hands, then
 turn out onto floured working surface. Cut dough in half, return half to the
 bread bowl and cover.
 Divide remaining half in two. Knead each half into a ball and then flatten
 gently with the palm of
 your hand. Let stand five minutes to rest. Working with each piece in turn,
 flatten out with your
 palms into a rectangle or oval about 10 inches long and 5 to 6 inches wide.
 It will be about 1/2 to
 3/4 inch thick. Transfer each to a lightly oiled baking sheet at least 14
 inches long. Let loaves
 rise for 20 to 30 minutes, covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
 Preheat oven to 400
 degrees and set rack at the center of the oven or just above. (If your
 baking sheets do not fit
 side-by-side on one rack, place two racks in oven, one just above the center
 and one just below.
 One bread can go on each rack; about halfway through baking (after 10 to 12
 minutes), switch
 the two around.) Just before placing in the oven, use a sharp knife or razor
 blade to make cuts
 through the breads: Starting two inches from the top and about an inch from
 the side, cut across
 the bread to within an inch of the other side. Make two more cuts, parallel
 to the first, at about 2
 inch intervals (the cuts should go all the way through the dough). The dough
 will separate at
 each cut, so that the bread looks like a kind of fat-runged ladder; you can
 pull dough apart even
 more if you wish and if your baking sheets are long enough, by pulling
 gently on each end of the
 breads to make the slits gape more. Brush each loaf lightly with olive oil
 all over, place in the
 oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Breads will be golden when done.
 Once first two loaves are in the oven, oil two more baking sheets, then
 flatten remaining dough,
 divide into two, and repeat steps required to form loaves. Breads should
 almost have finished
 rising by the time the first batch comes out of the oven.
 Yield: 4 loaves
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