Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fougasse Failure?

One thing about cooking with good ingredients: even if the recipe doesn't yield the intended result, you're likely to still have a fine tasting dish.

Yesterday I attempted Fougasse: a Provencal style bread traditionally flavored with orange and served as a dessert. This bread is meant to have a focaccia-like texture but mine came out more like pizza crust. The recipe I used was from Saveur magazine and called for a savoury blend of olives and herbs. It was going to be a perfect accompaniment to tomato salad and feta stuffed peppers which was on the menu for dinner.

Here it is for you to try. My modifications: I used a medley of olives from the bar at Shop Rite and dried oregano, fresh parsley and fresh savory instead of the herbs mentioned. Also I'm including in blue where I things may have gone wrong. Let me know how yours turns out!
Makes 5 loaves

1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp evoo plus more to brush loaves
1 tsp kosher salt
cornmeal for dusting
1/2 cup minced kalamata olives
1/4 cup minced green olives
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp minced fresh thyme
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1. In a large bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water heated to 115 degrees, let sit until foamy, 10 minutes. Yeast didn't foam up very well. Expiration date was fine. May need to include a bit of the flour mixture to give the yeast more to work with next time. Stir in flour, oil, and salt and mix until a dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 6 minutes. I'm not the best kneader. May need to whip out the mixer Hbear got us for our wedding to do the job for me! Cover with a a damp towel; let sit until doubled in size 1 1/2 hours.

2. Divide dough into 5 equal pieces. Working with one dough piece at a time, roll into an 8" x 5" triangle about 1/4 inch thick. Probably didn't need to be rolled out quite so thin. It's not easy to roll dough into a triangle! Transfer dough to a cornmeal-dusted parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Using a sharp knife cut slash the dough as pictured. Spread the slashes apart with your fingers. Cover with a damp towel and let rest until puffed, about 30 minutes. I should have left it alone for longer...didn't seem to puff up very well.
3. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine olives and herbs in a bowl. Lightly brush each dough piece with oil, sprinkle with olive mixture and season with salt and pepper. Bake one at a time until golden brown, about 15 min each.

So my final result was crunchy like pizza crust not fluffy like focaccia, but tasty all the same. The olives fell off a bit, but were deliciously shriveled, salty and concentrated with flavor--perfect with the tomato salad.


  1. deve essere una bontà! ...con um bicchiere di chardonay e del formaggio fresco...

  2. Grazie Paola! Era buono anche con insalata di pomodori freschi- :)

  3. That looks very tasty, you can call it 'Crispy focaccia bread',like Paola said, will go great with a mild cheese, salad, soup, e un buon bicchiere di vino!!!