Bread · Requires overnight step

Savory Fougasse

 

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Don’t judge a book by its cover! Honestly, aside from Great Green Sauce, this may be the goofiest-looking thing I’ve ever made. Well, at least of the things I’ve made that turned out more or less the way they were supposed to . But, wow, is the old adage true! This may be a goofy-looking bread, but it is positively scrumptious! And it’s fun to say, too. According to some online pronunciation sites, it’s pronounced “FOO-gas.”  I bet you say that in your head more than once! Maybe even out loud. Go on, try it!

I’ve adapted this recipe from King Arthur’s. What it lacks in authenticity is more than made up for with flavor and fun. We ate it with Provençal Soupe au Pistou. The leftovers were quite delicious as well. You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page.

Please note that the salt content can vary by olive type or brand. In calculating the nutrition information, I omitted the olive oil and salt sprinkled on the top in step 10. Use however much you like, and add that to the amounts on the chart. 

Ingredients:

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For the Poolish (poo-LEESH; a form of starter):

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup water

⅛ tsp instant yeast

For the dough:

½ cup water

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour

2 Tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp bread salt or sea salt (non-iodized)

¾ cup coarsely chopped Niçoise or Kalamata olives

½ small red onion

1 Tbsp loose rosemary leaves

1-2 cloves garlic

additional olive oil & kosher salt as needed

Preparation:

1.) The night before you want to bake, combine the poolish ingredients in the bowl you will use for the dough. It will be just a sticky lump.  Cover, and let it sit out at room temperature overnight. The next day it will have expanded, and look light and bubbly.

 

2.) Start the dough-making at least four hours before dinnertime. Begin by adding just the water and flours to the poolish. Mix just long enough to combine, then cover and let it rest for 20 minutes.

 

3.) While the flour combination rests, slice your onion very thin. Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions. Cook slowly, stirring often, until soft and golden. This may take a half hour or longer; keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. When they’re done, lay them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

You can deglaze the pan with a little hot water, if you like, and use that in your next soup!

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4.) While the  onions cook, mince the garlic and rosemary; set aside. Drain, pit, and chop the olives. Set aside.

 

5.) When the rest period for the dough is over, add the 2 Tbsp oil, 2 tsp yeast, and 1 tsp salt to the bowl. Knead until dough is fairly smooth, about 3 minutes by machine or 5 by hand. The dough may not seem very elastic, but that’s okay.

 

6.) Lightly oil a large bowl, and your hands. Gather the dough into a rough ball, and place upside down in the oiled bowl. Roll it just a bit, so that there’s a bit of oil on the top and sides. Place the dough ball right side up in the bowl, cover, and let it rise at room temperature for 45 minutes. If your kitchen is chilly, you can put the dough bowl in the cold oven with the light on.

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7.) After 45 minutes, gently deflate the dough. Let it rise again for up to 30 – 45 minutes longer.

 

8.) Oil your hands again, and gently deflate the dough once more. By hand, knead in the onions, olives, garlic, and rosemary. Shape the dough into a rough oval, about 12″ x 8″. Place it on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet, and let it rise for 30 minutes.

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9.) Using a sharp knife, cut a line lengthwise, starting and ending about an inch from each end. Cut all the way through the dough. Next, cut two or three diagonal lines on each side of the center line, again leaving an inch at each end of the cut. Gently pull the dough apart to widen the cuts. (I didn’t pull mine quite far enough.) Let the dough rise again, for another 30 t0 45 minutes.

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10.) Preheat the oven to 400º F. Gently brush the top of the loaf with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Pop it into the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is a lovely golden brown.

 

11.) Remove the loaf from the oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve on a platter, and each person can just tear off a chunk. Serve with plain or herbed extra virgin olive oil for dipping. Well wrapped, the fougasse will keep for three days at room temperature or a month in the freezer.

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savory-fougasse

 

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Savory Fougasse


Ingredients


For the Poolish (poo-LEESH; a form of starter):
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup water
⅛ tsp instant yeast

For the dough:
½ cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
¾ cup coarsely chopped Niçoise or Kalamata olives
½ small red onion
1 Tbsp loose rosemary leaves
1-2 cloves garlic

For the top:
additional olive oil & kosher salt

Directions


1.) The night before you want to bake, combine the poolish ingredients in the bowl you will use for the dough. Cover, and let it sit out at room temperature overnight.
2.) The next day, start the dough-making at least four hours before dinnertime. Begin by adding just the water and flours to the poolish. Mix just long enough to combine, then cover and let it rest for 20 minutes.
3.) While the flour combination rests, slice your onion very thin. Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions. Cook slowly, stirring often, until soft and golden. This may take a half hour or longer; keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
4.) While onions cook, mince the garlic and rosemary; set aside.
5.) When the rest period for the dough is over, add the 2 Tbsp oil, 2 tsp yeast, and 1 tsp salt to the bowl. Knead until dough is fairly smooth, about 3 minutes by machine or 5 by hand. The dough may not seem very elastic, but that’s okay.
6.) Lightly oil a large bowl, and your hands. Gather the dough into a rough ball, and place upside down in the oiled bowl. Roll it just a bit, so that there’s a bit of oil on the top and sides. Place the dough ball right side up in the bowl, cover, and let it rise at room temperature for 45 minutes. If your kitchen is chilly, you can put the dough bowl in the cold oven with the light on.
7.) After 45 minutes, gently deflate the dough. Let it rise again for up to 30 – 45 minutes longer.
8.) Oil your hands again, and gently deflate the dough once more. By hand, knead in the onions, olives, garlic, and rosemary. Shape the dough into a rough oval, about 12″ x 8″. Place it on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet, and let it rise for 30 minutes.
9.) Using a sharp knife, cut a line lengthwise, starting and ending about an inch from each end. Cut all the way through the dough. Next, cut two or three diagonal lines on each side of the center line, again leaving an inch at each end of the cut. Gently pull the dough apart to widen the cuts. Let the dough rise again, for another 30 t0 45 minutes.
10.) Preheat the oven to 400º F. Gently brush the top of the loaf with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Pop it into the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is a lovely golden brown.
11.) Remove the loaf from the oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve on a platter, and each person can just tear off a chunk. Serve with plain or herbed extra virgin olive oil for dipping. Well wrapped, the fougasse will keep for three days at room temperature or a month in the freezer.

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