I love olives! Black, green stuffed, spiced sun dried - you name it, I like them all. What better way to show my love of olives then to make an olive bread. This recipe is adapted from Laura Calder's Fougasse recipe from her show "French Food at Home". Fougasse is a bread typically associated with being from Provence that is shaped like a ear of wheat or in this case a leaf. Like versions of this bread can be found in many parts of southern Europe including Spain, Italy, and Portugal although it is most commonly seen with olives or cheese in France. This version can be regarded as a primitive pizza sans tomato sauce, very texturally similar to a focaccia.
Fougasse is a beautiful centerpiece because of its shape and lovely sheen. You can omit the olives if you don't like them, you can also use sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, or lemon zest. I actually had some extra tapenade which is what I used to flavor my whole wheat version. I'm of the mindset that if I'm baking bread at home it has to be whole wheat!
INGREDIENTS: Fougasse with tepenade, rosemary and lemon 2 2/3 cups sifted stone ground whole wheat flour 1 tsp dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water 2 eggs - room temp. 1 tsp salt 2 tbs evoo (extra virgin olive oil) 2 tbs dried rosemary 1/2 cup mixed olive tepenade - recipe to follow PREP: In a glass measuring cup (or small bowl) add yeast to warm water, stir and let sit for 10 mins - until it starts to foam. Then place sifted flour in a large bowl and create a well for the eggs, salt, rosemary and oil. Break the eggs with your fingers, and slightly start to combine the ingredients in the well - then add your yeast mixture and begin to incorporate the flour. Once it all starts to come together add the olive mixture and begin kneading the dough. When the mixture starts pulling away from the bowl transfer to a clean floured surface and kneed until smooth (about 8 mins). Then place in a lightly oiled bowl cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour. - Punch down the dough and kneed again for 5 mins, and shape into a tear drop. Place some flour or cornmeal on a baking sheet and place the dough on top. Cut six slits in the dough to resemble a leaf cover and let rest for another 30-45 mins. -Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Egg wash the top of the bread and bake until golden - about 25 mins.