Friday, 11 October 2013

Tearing and Sharing - Olive Fougasse.

I've been making bread again but this time from my own pantry staples, no packet mix involved. Do you know what? It's just as easy to put your own ingredients together and probably cheaper. Everything I used for this bread I already had lurking in my cupboards. 

I impressed myself with this wonderful bread. It tastes exactly like the small squares of posh bread you get in the fancy schmancy restaurants, you know the kind, that you dip into Balsamic vinegar or olive oil. My Balsamic vinegar was purchased at Lidl for under a pound. It's an absolutely pukka product though, made in Modena and has the certificato da organismo di controlla autorizzato dal Mipaaf and I.G.P. Makes me wonder why it's so expensive elsewhere? Perhaps there are different grades to it? My palate is not that sophisticated where vinegar is concerned so I'm more than happy with my Lidl version.

Anyhow, I digress.

My beast of a loaf.

The recipe was as easy as can be and the whole process took under two hours, which includes the proving time.


Strong white bread flour   450g
Sugar (the recipe called for unrefined golden granulated but I used caster) 15g/1tbsp
Sea salt plus some for sprinkling  10g/2tsp ( I used less salt)
Easy Bake yeast  7g (1 sachet)
Olive oil plus additional for drizzling  80ml
Warm water  225ml
Olives chopped  15g
Rosemary chopped 15g ( I just pulled mine apart by hand)

1. Put flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a bowl.
2. Mix to a soft dough with the oil and water.
3. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 mins, adding the olives and rosemary as you knead.
Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm spot, for 30 minutes to an hour, until double in size.

Dough after first proving.

4.Punch down the proven dough and stretch out into an oval on the baking sheet. Slash the dough and open the cuts to form a pattern.

Dough after 'punching'

Before second proving.

5. Cover with a tea towel again and prove in a warm spot for no longer than 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7.
7.Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle a little sea salt over the dough; bake for about 15 minutes until golden.

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