Fougasse

Fougasse

By
From
Mark Hix On Baking
Makes
3
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Is fougasse, the famous hearth bread of Provence, poised to become the new focaccia? My local supermarket does one baked with caramelised onions and cheese and I’m always tempted to grab a loaf when I see them in stock, as they tend not to hang around on the shelves too long. It’s a simple, rustic bread flat enough to be topped with something like gently cooked sliced onions and cheese, rosemary, baked cloves of garlic or cooked pieces of bacon – whatever you choose.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
100g wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 x 7 g sachet fast-action yeast
75ml olive oil
225ml water, warmed
4 tablespoons black olives, chopped

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients except the olives into a mixer set with the dough hook attachment and mix to a soft dough. Add the olives and knead for 5 minutes on a low speed until smooth and elastic. (You may need to stop the machine occasionally and scrape the sides of the bowl so that everything gets mixed together.) Alternatively, mix by hand until the mixture forms a smooth dough before adding the olives and kneading for 10 minutes. Cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for a few hours until the dough has doubled in volume.
  2. Put the dough on a floured work surface and knead it back to its original size. Divide it into three rough oval shapes. Make 4 slits across each with a knife, cutting right through the dough. Stretch the dough pieces with your hands and a rolling pin to about 30 cm long. Put the loaves onto greased baking sheets, cover with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave for about an hour in a warm place to prove until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  3. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden. Eat as soon as you can on its own or dipped into a dish of stewed peppers.
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