Today we are using up the olives from christmas (which were meant to go into cocktails). What better way to use them up than making some nice fougasses (or is it fougassie, fougie?…), a french bread that is distantly related to the Italian focaccia. It’s a really fun little bread as its shaped like a leaf. I hope to find some hidden artistic talent to shape it beautifully (as you will see later on, did not materialise).
Found two fougass recipes, one from the BBC/ Paul Hollywood and another one form TheOrangeFairy. Mine is a bit of a combination of both. If you are looking for something different there is a whole wheat recipe by LeadDog on sourdough.com.
- 250 grams sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 415 grams plain or strong flour
- 300 grams water
- 8 grams salt
- 175 grams green pitted olive – cut in half
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Mix flour+water+starter in a bowl.
- Let it rest for 30min
- add salt+oregano+ green olive.
- fold every 20 min 4 times
- Proof – let it rest in the fridge for ±12 hours or 6 hours in a warm room.
- When ready on your work surface dust with flour and semolina.
- Divide into even 5 pieces (or any other number, depending how big and how many fougasses you want).
- Shape into triangles. Make them quite thick as you will stretch them out later.
- Make one long incision from the tip of the triangle to the bottom and stretch. Make 2-3 smaller incision on each side roughly a 60˚ degree angle downward. (This did not go well for me, suddenly remembered why I failed art A level)
- Gently put your fougasses on a well oiled baking parchment/tray. I cannot emphasize enough how well oiled it should be.
- Final rise for 3 hours in a warm room
Before final proof
After final proof, and ready to go into the oven
- Preheat the oven at 220˚Celsius with a roasting tin full of water (for the crust).
- Bake the loaves for 20 minutes or until golden. Remember to flip towards the end.
Taste test: Good, the olives really give it a nice salty kick. The inside full of little bubbles. Wonderful to tear and eat. The shape came out alright but definitely stretch the incisions and get space in between them.