Chapeau is the main hit of bakeries in the 19 century. It was first introduced in the 19th century (1861) when Mrs. Beeton's show it in her book, The book of Household Management. Now of days we have convention ovens and induction but back then they use to make this bread on the bottom low of flat brick made bread ovens. The word Chapeau comes from France which means "Hat". When you bake this bread it smell amazing and leaves a little cracker on top just for a great crunch.
Technique in making the Hat
When you make the hat you are going to need to really flour your fingers. This reason is because the dough is going to be sticky and have resistance on your fingers trying to make the hat. First you are going to need to make the dough into a ball size shape. Then flour your fingers and push your index finger into the middle of the ball. Once your finger is all the way down then grab the little slot you make and gently squeeze it with two fingers. This is going to be the frustrating part trust me. It took me 15 mins just to do this part. As long as your fingers are still floured pinch that slot as hard as possible then you should have two separate forms of your dough. Stretch your dough gently and pinch at the same time forming your little hat. You really want to make it as skinny as possible without breaking the form. It okay if it leaves a hole just reform a piece of it and stick it together. When you get the dough to look like a hat you want to flour the sides of the indent so that hat of yours doesn't form back into the dough ball itself.
Prep= 1 hour and 5 mins
Cooking= 12 mins
Yield= 10 (considers how big you want to make them)
Total= 1 hour and 17 mins
1 Cup of Warm Water
1 packet of Active yeast (2 tsp and quarter)
2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Get a medium size bowl and transfer 1 cup of warm water. If you have a thermometer make sure the temp hits 110 to 120.
Add your sugar and yeast and swirl them in the bowl really fast so that bubbles start to form. This will give the yeast more oxygen and work faster. It should only take 5 mins for the yeast to be done bubbling.
Mix the Flour into the water mixture and form the dough into a ball.
Rub the dough with the oil and close the bowl or Seram it to make the ball enlarge at least double in size after about 1 hour.
After the dough been double in size, rip little pieces of the dough to make small balls.
Next you are going to use the Technique that I wrote on the middle of the page
Place on a nonstick sheet pan and spread flour all over. Preheat the oven to 350 and wait 15 mins until the heat becomes even in the oven. In the meantime, place the Chapeau on the pan then start baking for 12 mins.
Suggestions to add on the Bread
After the bread is made what i would put on it is a spread of butter or fill it with jam inside of it. You can also sift some powder sugar on top to make a sweet bread.
Keep at room temp for 3 to 5 days inside a Ziplock bag.