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Fougasse with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Fougasse

Fougasse. It’s called focaccia in Italy and fougasse in Provence. Both are yeasted flatbreads scented or stuffed with herbs and other goodies. They’re usually served with a flavored olive oil on the side for dipping. Fougasse, as opposed to focaccia, is often shaped like a leaf by slitting the dough to represent the veins. The resulting fougasse looks a bit like an edible split-leaf philodendron, otherwise known as Monstera deliciosa (deliciosa, really). Which is a leaf that makes a very pretty loaf.

However, I suspect the slits in fougasse have less to do with pretty and more to do with crust. Of course I think crust is pretty and maybe you do too.

To get a really pretty crust I followed the advice of a master baker I know. She said to ignore the recipe’s temperature guide and crank the oven as high as it goes. If you can’t get the oven to 500 degrees F or higher, don’t bother making bread until you get a new oven (her advice not mine, he said gleefully). But if it does get that hot, then spritz 15–20 squirts of water from a spray bottle inside the oven to create steam. Load the fougasse into the oven and finish with five more squirts before closing the door. Then (and this was new to me) open the door to the oven just a crack for the last three or four minutes of baking to get a crisper crust.

The fougasse you see here is made with black olives and sun-dried tomatoes following a method I borrowed from Dorie Greenspan’s book, Around My French Kitchen. The flatbread recipe itself I adapted from the Easy Flat Bread Dough recipe in my own book, Savory Pies. It proved highly adaptable to fougasse and I suspect focaccia too. Which made me one relieved author. GREG

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fougasse

Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Fougasse

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 12Source Adapted from Dorie GreenspanPublished
Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Fougasse

Ingredients

  • ¼ ounce active dry yeast
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (plus more for glaze)
  • 375 gram all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for greasing bowl and glazing)
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • ½ cup pitted and halved, oil-cured black olives
  • ½ cup drained and chopped, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Directions

In the bowl of a stand-mixer dissolve yeast and sugar in 1‑cup water. Set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes.

Add about 2 ½ cups flour, kosher salt, ¼ cup olive oil, and honey to the bowl. Fit the stand-mixer with a dough hook. Run machine on low, after a minute or so slowly sprinkle in the remaining flour. Watch dough for the next few minutes dribbling in small amounts of water if needed to keep dough elastic. Dough should begin to look very smooth, pulling cleanly away from the sides and bottom of the bowl after about 10 minutes. If this does not happen add a few more tablespoons flour and continue running the machine until it does.

Meanwhile, mix olives, tomatoes, rosemary, and lemon zest in medium bowl. When the dough is ready, remove the bowl from its stand and add the olive mixture. Using a sturdy spatula, stir dough by hand to blend. It will be a little sticky.

Transfer dough to a bowl that has been greased with a little olive oil. Cover bowl with a clean towel and let rest in a warm place (about 75 degrees F is ideal) until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough to deflate. Form into a ball, cover bowl with oiled plastic; chill overnight in the refrigerator. You may skip this step if you are in a hurry, but the foucasse will develop a better flavor if allowed to ferment overnight.

Sprinkle 2 large, parchment covered, rimmed baking sheets with flour. Punch the dough to deflate, and divide into 2 equal pieces. Place each piece on one of the prepared baking sheets; sprinkle with flour. Using your hands, press the dough into 9x6-inch ovals, sprinkling with flour to keep from sticking.

Using a very sharp small knife, or appropriately sized pastry scraper, cut four 2‑inch-long diagonal slashes just to right of center of one of the ovals and 4 more just to left of center to create pattern resembling leaf veins. Pull slashes apart with fingertips to make 3/4- to 1‑inch-wide openings. Repeat with second oval. Cover each sheet with a clean towel. Let rest 20 minutes. Beat 2 teaspoons water and 1 tablespoon olive oil in small bowl to blend for glaze, set this aside.

Meanwhile, place the oven racks in the top and center positions and place an oven thermometer inside. Turn the oven on as high as it will go. When the thermometer reaches 500 degrees F brush fougasses with prepared glaze; sprinkle with flaky sea salt, then spritz 15–20 squirts of water from a spray bottle inside the oven to create steam. Load the fougasse into the oven and finish with five more squirts before closing the door.

Bake fougasses 7 or 8 minutes. Reverse position of baking sheets and turn them around also. Bake about 6 to 8 more minutes, or until deeply golden brown. If you like you can open the door of the oven just a crack for the last couple of minutes, it will help create a crisp crust. Transfer to racks; cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.