Saturday, February 21, 2009

Olive Oil Fougasse with Olives

This was a wonderful loaf of bread that we had with dinner twice over the last few weeks. I was really aiming to make a Focaccia, and when I saw this recipe I assumed it would be much the same. It wasn't really, it was far less dense than Focaccia, but it was wonderful anyway. The olives were a nice touch, adding a bit of colour, but not overpowering the flavour.

I put the whole warmed loaf on the table on a cutting board, and people just tore sections off. No butter was necessary. Wha?? Who said that?? That was weird, it was like I got possessed for a second, and typed the words "no butter was necessary". Strange.

This recipe is from a cookbook that I've had for years, and used many times. It is called "Bread" and its from the California Culinary Academy.

Olive Oil Fougasse with Olives
makes 2 loaves

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 3/4 to 3 cups flour
1/4 cup chopped green olives

1. Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup of the warm water. Add sugar, let stand until yeast has dissolved.

2. Stir in remaining water, milk, 3 tbsp of the oil and salt. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat with a mixer at medium speed for about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in olives then 1/2 cup more of the flour to make a soft dough.

4. Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny (10-12 minutes), adding just enough of the remaining flour to prevent sticking. Turn dough into a greased dish and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

5. Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half and roll and stretch it out into two 8" by 10" rectangles. Place on greased baking sheets, cut diagonal slashes into two rows right through the dough. Open the slits by pulling them apart.

6. Brush loaves with remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Let stand 15 minutes, until dough looks puffy. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.


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