Don’t you just love Provence???!!! The sunshine, the Mediterranean Sea, and of course, the delicious food! This Olive Bread from Provence, called Fougasse, is very easy to make, and it is a delight for olive lovers. This bread will make you feel like you are in Provence sitting at a restaurant admiring the views!
Olive Bread from Provence Recipe:
You can customize this Olive Bread from Provence recipe to your taste. For example, you can add any herbs you like. Herbs de Provence would go particularly well here. You can also choose green olives instead of black olives, or a mix of the two. The cheese you sprinkle over the bread is entirely up to you too: it could be mild or sharp; some people even use goat cheese or blue cheese. There is also another variation of fougasse where the bread is filled with pancetta instead of olives.
Mix the flour, olive oil, salt, water and yeast. Knead by hand or in a mixer/food processor with a dough blade. Knead until you have a uniform elastic ball. See picture.
Note: if kneading by hand, incorporate the water gradually, a little bit at a time. If using a machine, you can add all the water at once.
Place the ball in a big mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour and 30 minutes. During that time, the dough should double or triple in size. See picture.
Apply your fist to the ball of dough to release any gas that might be trapped in the dough. Using the palm of your hands, flatten the dough into an oval shape. Use a knife to make 3 diagonal incisions on each side of your oval dough (more or less resembling a leaf). See picture.
Preheat oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit.
Insert the sliced olives into the dough by pressing gently with your finger. Sprinkle with your favorite shredded cheese. You can also sprinkle herbs de Provence over the bread if you would like (optional). With a pastry brush, brush olive oil all over the bread. Note: if you don’t have a pastry brush, just drizzle with olive oil.
Place on parchment paper in a baking tray, and bake for about 20–25 minutes (until the bread becomes slightly brown in color).
Enjoy warm or lukewarm.