FOUGASSE – OLIVE FLATBREAD

DSCN5523My final exam at the Cordon Bleu Culinary school was a hard task.  The demand was total perfection. I looked for inspiration of French classical dishes from the The Roux brothers’ books and used some of their ideas and techniques for my final dish.

I am also great fan of Michel Roux Jr and during my recent visit to London I bought his book “The French Kitchen”.  I have never made any sort of bread but when I saw this easy to follow recipe I had to try it.  Believe me, the result was a beautiful, tasty bread.  Just perfection !

INGREDIENTS

20g fresh yeast

350ml warm water

500g multi-grain flour, plus extra for rolling

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

60g good- quality olives, pitted and cut in half

1 free-range egg, beaten

coarse sea salt

METHOD

1- Dissolve the yeast in a little of the warm water in a large bowl.  Add the flour, salt, the rest of the water and the olive oil.  Then knead until the dough is smooth and very elastic.  This will take 10 minutes ( yes, ten minutes).

2- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place for about an hour.  It will double in size.

3- Knead the dough again briefly and add the olives.  Roll it out on a floured surface to form a rough leaf shape, 15mm thick. Place it on a baking sheet.

4- Using a sharp knife, cut 6 or 7 slits in the dough and open them up so you can see the baking sheet.

5- Preheat the oven to 240C.  Brush the dough lightly with the beaten egg, sprinkle with coarse salt and thyme leaves and bake for 9 minutes until golden brown.

6- Leave it too cool on a wire rack.

TIPS

– Instead of olives you can use sundried tomatoes or both.  The flavour and colour combination makes this bread taste and look great.

– I added the thyme leaves for a little extra colour and flavour.

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