Saturday, 8 May 2010

Fougasse aux olives

I've already talked before about my love of the french bread, fougasse, particularly when it's aux olives. I found about above my love for this particular bread when I first visited a Paul's patisserie during my stay in Lyon. There they do a tomato mozzarella sandwich on the olive fougasse which is to die for. For serious. I've tried once before to recreate said bread so as to have a proper tomate mozza at home (you can do it with regular bread but it's just not the same) and while the results have been edible, they've not been nearly close enough to Paul's version.

So, I set about recreating it, again. I figured I should use a different recipe, one that was more... authentic. I therefore decided that the best thing to do would be to find a French recipe, and translate. A daunting task for several reasons: 1) I have been in Spain for the past 3 months, had my mind focused on speaking Spanish, and have not spoken any French; 2) I hate written translations, I'm no good at them; and 3) I've never translated a recipe before, and the French are so particular about their cooking ways!

But I did it. And the results were again edible. Still not quite like Paul's but I'm getting a hell of a lot closer. And I had one great tomate mozza for my supper yesterday. Mmmmmm.

Fougasse aux olives (translated and adapted from this recipe from

5 cups/17 oz/500g bread flour
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups/10 fl oz/300 ml mix of 1/2 water 1/2 milk
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100 g of black olives, without stones, sliced
1 tbsp Provençal herbs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Sift all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast, salt) together into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the mix, then add the olive oil and the water/milk mix. Mix well until the mixture starts to form a ball. Draw into a ball with your hands (NOTE: If it is too dry to handle add the tiniest bit of water; if it is too sticky, add a tiny bit more flour).

2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for about 5 minutes. Lightly coat a bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to sit for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Knead the air out of the dough, and then add the olives and herbs. Mix until well incorporated.

4. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface. Roll it into an oval shape and make scores in the dough with a pastry cutter or knife. Transfer the dough to a greased baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 475ºF/250ºC/Gas mark 9.

5. Brush the dough with the remaining 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes is up, lower the temperature to 400ºF/200ºC/Gas mark 6 and cook for a further 20 minutes.

6. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

1 comment:

  1. I thought for a second that the last step said 'Leave to cool on a wine rack' and was very confused, but obviously I'm just a fool. Good translation skills my love, Mathilde would be proud! I do rather desperately want a Tomate Mozzarelle now though...



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