Provençal Olive Fougasse (FFWD)

5.11.2012

Finally a bread recipe. And with olive oil, black olives, rosemary...


We´re making Olive Fougasse for our week´s recipe from Around my French Table, by Dorie Greenspan, for our FFWD group.

Baking with yeast is my favorite hobby. There´s something about working together with the yeast that I find challenging and fun at the same time.
I´ve been baking focaccia for years, but only made fougasse, it´s French cousin, once, with a sourdough starter that I kept for years. It was time consuming but very rewarding. This time it´s a straight dough that gets  the flavors deepen by staying overnight in the refrigerator, a very reliable way of getting more flavor and better crumb out of most doughs.


Olives, black and pitted, and rosemary are added, which pair extraordinarily with olive oil, a main ingredient here. The addition of lemon or orange zest I never used before. I pitted my olives by crushing them with the palm of my hand and tore them apart with my fingers, and also I used lemon zest because that´s all I had, and only a few gratings with my microplane grater (such a good little gadget) because I just went with my instinct and stopped at maybe half a teaspoon.

The dough was easy to put together and then the stand mixer did the rest. And though it´s sticky and messy to work with it´s not difficult if you, like me, choose to do a free-form shaped fougasse. Just some flour on the work surface, unload the dough, pat it a bit with floured hands, dump it in the floured baking sheet and work with whatever shape appears. Mine turned out better than I thought, with no merit on my part.


There are two standard shapes, one as a leaf (the most popular) and then another one as a ladder. This way you get more crunchy crust and less crumb. Which works well for me.
The taste is really good, with all those great Mediterranean ingredients working so well together. The almost whole olives and coarse salt on top are a must for me, they round up the final flavor of the bread.


I made the traditional bread and then made very free-form ciabatta style individual breads. They will become part of a sandwich soon. The recipe was published by Bon Appetit.

This bread should be eaten right there, warm from the oven. I tore mine in chunks and dipped them into rosemary infused olive oil.

22 comments:

  1. Looks good!
    I agree - bread is my favorite medium to work with & this was a welcome one after some of April's options.
    have a great weekend!

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  2. I love making bread too and I find that leaving the dough to sit in the fridge for days would deepen the flavor of the bread and for me it is easier for me to make the dough the night before . I just have to spend 30 minutes and I have fresh bread in the morning :) Your fougasse looks great with the free form shape :) and I bet it taste good as a sandwich :)

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    1. I agree, once I understood how the dough behaved in the refrigerator it became so useful!

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  3. Nice! And I love the idea of rosemary infused olive oil. Mmm!

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  4. Yum! Love your little 'ciabattas', too! :)

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  5. Paula, just reading your blog post makes me hungry for that bread all over again - your writing style is wonderful and it is making me hungry...although I just finished a great big piece of chocolate birthday cake (also a Bon Appétit recipe).

    Looking forward to your next post - enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much! I´m craving chocolate cake now!

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  6. That bread looks so brown and delicious. I like the ciabatta bread, they will make a great sandwich. This was an easy
    recipe to work with and quick to make. I look forward to trying different variations after reading the blog today.

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    1. This recipe is good for so many variations. I think I will be using it a lot!

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  7. I want to go home and bake the other half of my dough after reading your post! Yum! Love the little ciabattas!

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  8. I agree the best time to enjoy this bread is warm fresh out of the oven and I like the idea of a little olive oil dip, yum! Your fougasse looks wonderful, looks like you enjoyed and had fun with this recipe;-)

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  9. Baking with yeast is a great stress releaser for me! Your fougasse looks amazing! Absolutely beautiful! Glad this was a winner for you! I really loved it! Have a great weekend!

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  10. @Jessica and @Maggie - This is a great dough for ciabattas, with or without olives!

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  11. Thank you for giving a heads up on the Bon Appetit ciabatta recipe. I loved the taste of this fougasse and think it would be amazing as ciabatta. Everyone seems to have liked this recipe and, I agree, it was simpler to make than it looks! That's my kind of yeast bread. I also like the entire bread-making process.

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  12. Baking bread is a huge stress reliever for me. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment whenever I make it! Yours looks delicious.

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  13. This is perfect for dunking in oil. Great idea! I loved how the stand mixer did most of the work. I found this very easy to put together. Your ciabatta are so cute. I'll bet they made great sandwiches.

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  14. I love the yeasty aroma of rising bread - working with yeast feels like such an accomplishment, too, even when the recipe is as simple as this one. Love the little ciabatta-style buns you made with this.

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  15. Sometimes our hands are the best kitchen tools (your olive tip) - the knife just didn't feel right. LOVE your baby ciabattas!!

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  16. I would actually make minis of these for a dinner party I think :) yours look great!

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  17. I love that you made ciabatta like rolls, too!! Both so wonderful :)

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  18. I love that you got in there and used your fingers to break up the olives. Your fougasse looks lovely and what a great idea to make ciabatta mini loaves.

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